There are two Loire rivers in France. OK, not strictly true: there is La Loire (feminine, with an "e") and, just to keep the tourists on their toes, there is also Le Loir (masculine, no "e"). La Loire is the big, famous one, with the beautiful Loire Valley châteaux on its banks. The other is much smaller, feeding into La Loire via the river Sarthe, which then joins with the river Mayenne to create the river Maine, that flows into the Loire just South of Angers.
The Chateau of Le Lude is on the banks of Le Loir, but counts as a Loire Valley chateau since it is the Département of the Pays de la Loire. We went to visit it with our guests.
It was first constructed in the tenth century, but was quickly redeveloped into a defensive fortress. It is unusual in that it is still inhabited by its owners - I'm glad I don't have their heating bills.