France, Duchy of Brittany, Conan IV, 1156-1166 (d. 1171). Denier. Rev. "DVX" in field. +BRITANNIE. Obv. +CONANVS. Boudeau 26, Duplessy 60, Poey d'Avant 273-4 (Pl. 9, No. 119), Roberts 4194. Conan IV was only one of several dukes of Brittany, over the 11th and 12th centuries, to assume the duchy by maternal descent. On his paternal side, he inherited the Anglo-Norman earldom of Richmond, from one of several prominent Anglo-Breton families whose founding patriarchs had joined William I in the Norman Conquest, or settled in England over the following reigns. Nearer to home, Conan had a hard time, beset by continual baronial unrest within the duchy. --With the active encouragemant of Henry II of England (and the 'Angevin Empire'), who had designs on Brittany beyond his existing, nominal suzereignty. Forced to abdicate the duchy in 1166, he retained only the county of Penthievre and a handful of smaller estates, along with the earldom of Richmond. ...At Richmond Castle, he built most of the keep, converting it from a typical Norman stone gatehouse, as happened at Ludlow Castle, Shrops. over the same century. Along similar lines, the keep was likely heightened by Henry II, who appropriated the castle on Conan's death in 1171. The entrance in this picture might look like it's on the ground floor, but this is actually from the curtain wall --which, unusually (as in the case of Ludlow) predates the conversion of the original gate-tower into a keep. References (other than numismatic) Dunbabin, France in the Making: 843-1180. Painter, The Scourge of the Clergy: Peter of Dreux, Duke of Brittany. Weaver (/English Heritage), Richmond Castle and Easby Abbey. ...Post anything Breton, and /or corresponding to the 12th century ACE. ...Or whatever else is of relevance; just, tell us why!