“più bello et expugnabele per nuy refacto che non fo may”
Ricorso dei venafrani, agosto 1487, Archivio Caetani, perg. 2720, 23
Pandone Castle was built on the site of a megalithic structure, whose remains are visible at the foot of the Lombard donjon. The fortified complex was developed in the second half of the tenth century; whilst in the ownership of Lombard Count Paldefredo and his successors, the fortress was extended with the addition of a quadrangular enclosure and at least two keeps. In later times, the invading Norman king Ruggero d’Altavilla and his hordes inflicted severe damage both to the castle and the burgh.
The Angevin period saw the construction of a ditch and three large circular towers on a truncated conical base. In 1443, under the Aragonese dynasty, ownership of the castle passed to the Pandone family. Count Francesco commissioned the extension of the moat and the construction of a castellated outer wall, whilst Enrico transformed the fortress into a residence through the addition of a loggia and a garden, and an exquisite pictorial cycle (1522 – 1527) depicting a selection of magnificent horses from his renowned stud farm.
After Enrico’s execution ensuing his betrayal of Charles V, the fiefdom was owned by several families, amongst which the Lannoy made further changes to the castle’s architecture and decoration that enhanced its characteristics as a residence.