The castle's original name was "Le Chateau St Michel", later it became "Chateau de Val" or "Chateau de Valle" and is over 1,000 years old. The castle overlooks the northeast end of the island and has spectacular views of the islands of Herm and Jethou. It is open to the public throughout the year but access may be restricted at certain times when a private event is being staged. The castle is becoming more and more popular for music festivals and private parties.
The history of the castle dates it back to an earthwork from the early Iron Age but the earliest parts of the stone built castle that we see today dates to the 15th century. Barracks were added inn the 18th century several but later demolished. During the Second World War the German occupying forces demolished the barracks and built four concrete machine-gun positions, three 5 cm mortar positions, trenches, four tobruk pits, and personnel shelters. The defences also featured flame throwers, two 60 cm searchlight positions, and two 10.5cm K331(f) field guns.
Vale Castle features in Victor Hugo's Toilers of the Sea. The home of Gilliatt is located nearby and Hugo describes "...the big hill surmounted by a block of towers and ivy called Vale Castle or the castle of the Archangel...". Hugo here is recalling the link between Vale and Mont Saint Michel