CHATELLERAULT, a town of western France, capital of an arrondissement in the department of Vienne, 19 m. N.N.E. of Poitiers on the Orleans railway between that town and Tours. Pop. (1906) 15,214. Châtellerault is situated on the right and eastern bank of the Vienne; it is connected with the suburb of Châteauneuf on the opposite side of the river by a stone bridge of the 16th and 17th centuries, guarded at the western extremity by massive towers. The manufacture of cutlery is carried on on a large scale in villages on the banks of the Clain, south of the town. Of the other industrial establishments the most important is the national small-arms factory, which was established in 1815 in Châteauneuf, and employs from 1500 to 5500 men. Châtellerault (or Châtelherault: Castellum Airaldi) derives its name from a fortress built in the 10th century by Airaud, viscount of its territory. In 1515 it was made a duchy in favour of François de Bourbon, but it was not long after this date that it became reunited to the crown. In 1548 it was bestowed on James Hamilton, 2nd earl of Arran (see Hamilton).
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)