One of the greatest general of his age and father of Charlemagne, Carolus Martellus or Charles Martel as he is known today, had a tremendous impact on the history of Western Europe.
After the Moors, or Saracens as they were then known, conquered the Iberian peninsula during the 8th Century they expanded into France and reached Poitiers. Charles Martel, the Frankish leader, chased the Saracens back into Aquitaine and later defeated them conclusively at Tours in 732.
Martel, known as ‘the hammer’, commemorated his victory by building a church around which a town grew up. Many believe that the town of Martel in the modern Corrèze was named after its alleged founder and its leaders adopted the crest of three hammers which were the favoured weapons of the Frankish leader.