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Avranches’ keep remains constitute a witness of Anglo-Norman knowledge on castle building.
Their similarity with other buildings such as Ivry-la-Bataille castle or London Tower required determining the place of Avranches keep in this group: pioneer or imitation?
The age is given by the following age-equation: (1) T = Q / I with T, the time (expressed in years) elapsed since the last firing of the object, Q (in Gy) is the total dose stored since the last firing (also called “paleodose”) and I, the annual dose rate (in Gy / yr).
To measure the time elapsed since the last firing two series of experimentation are performed: the determination of the paleodose and the determination of the annual dose rate.
It faces the Mont-Saint-Michel bay and its location gives to the town a strategic defensive position.
The town is divided in two parts: the old town strengthened on the west and the later town on the east.
Its reconstructed plan leaded to indisputable form comparisons with the emblematic Anglo-Norman keeps such as the Ivry-la-Bataille one, that of the Tower of London (fig. The place of the building in the Anglo-Norman castle architecture remains a disputed issue.
Whether its edification is one of the first examples of early Anglo-Norman keeps or the result of a continuity of castle building during a war period needs to be ascertained.
Amongst the remains of the original keep, a structure identified by one of us was suitable for a sampling series (fig.
Furthermore in the extension of the load-bearing wall, north orientated, i.e.
in the thickness of the northern surrounding wall, a second arch presents the same features; this second passageway, which likely opened on the outside, displays internal facings also built up with bricks and associated with rubble disposed in .
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The keep is located at the junction of these parts, in the most vulnerable area of the city.