The rocky spur on which the castle was built was occupied as early as the Neolithic. The site is located less than 2 km from the ancient Roman way of Saintes to Périgueux, the path Boisné which passes to La Frenade.
In the 10th century the Châtellenie de Merpins belonged to the Taillefer, Comtes d’Angoulême. In 1179 Merpins is taken by the English and Richard the Lionheart gives it in 1180 to his son bastard Philippe de Falcombridge, married Amélie de Cognac. Cognac and Merpins are not gathered for long, in 1204 he sells Merpins to Jean sans Terre. His son Henri III will give Merpins to Hugh X of Lusignan, Seigneur de Cognac, husband of Isabella d’Angoulême. In 1308 Merpins was assembled in the royal possessions but lost and taken over by the English in 1360 by the Treaty of Brétigny.
It was after a six-year siege led by Maréchal de Sancerre that it was taken over in 1387. King Charles VI ordered its destruction and the ruins were sold. But the site will still see battles, it will be occupied by Catholics and then Protestants. The Duc de Mayenne dislodged them in 1577.
The primitive fortress was built in the 9th century. From the tenth century, it was reinforced with stone and between 1140 and 1150 were erected the keep and the fortified castle. After 1179 three towers are built by the English who reinforce the walls and dig a dry moat. Other fortification works date from the 13th century.