During the development of a fine arts museum in Vannes, Brittany, in northwestern France, excavations revealed the remains of a medieval castle, according to Heritage Daily. The dig began in the courtyard of an 18th century mansion, the Château Lagorce, which currently operates as a hotel. 

Researchers from France’s national institute for archeological research learned that the castle was built around 1380 by Jean IV, the Duke of Brittany and Count of Montfort from 1345, and the 7th Earl of Richmond from 1372. The structure was known as the Château de l’Hermine and was built to assert the Duke’s authority in the area. 

The archaeologists found a moat and two stories of the fortress-like castle’s outer defensive wall in the courtyard as deep as 13 feet below street level. The stonework suggests that the castle as many as four levels, multiple staircases, latrines, and drainage pipes. The latrine area was filled with everyday objects that date back to the 15th century including jewelry, coins, padlock and several pieces of clothing. 

The team also found the remains of a bridge that stretched over the moat, connecting the castle to the town, and a mill that was built into the castle’s residential area “in a very original way.” The mill’s wheel was powered by a canal that flowed underneath the castle and released into the moat through a grate in the mill room.