The Castle, 10 centuries of history

« Approaching the pretty market burg of Crèvecœur, I spotted a fairly high tower on a hillock, through the dense foliage of several thick trees, with walls forming an enceinte and various edifices that were obviously several centuries old. I had arrived at Crèvecœur castle. »

M.F. Demiau de Crouzillac
« Crèvecœur castle » 1859

A unique example of a small French castle that has been miraculously preserved, Crèvecœur has survived to this day, practically intact.

The inner bailey is protected by the moat, the motte and its curtain wall dating back to the 12th century, slashed with arrow slits. The only way across to the inner bailey, and thus the lord’s dwelling-place, is a single footbridge.

The importance of farming is immediately obvious. There is a farm, a dovecote and a barn in the outer bailey, forming a very fine example of regional constructions built using timber panelling. Originally protected by a talus topped with a wooden palisade, it was the place where villagers could take refuge in the event of an attack.

It recounts the medieval history of Normandy, vibrant, moving, captivating! Almost ten centuries of history, recorded in documents and objects having survived to the present day, since the 12th century, which was an auspicious period of donations to abbeys, through to the publication in the 19th century of a book relating the history of the Englishmen’s treasure.

Three chess pieces in walrus ivory dating from the 11th century, discovered on the Crèvecœur site in the 19th century.
Watercolour map of Crèvecœur castle dating from the second half of the 18th century. National archives. Ref.: classification mark T144 (40/41)
Charter of Guillaume de Crèvecœur, beginning 12th century. It confirms the donation made by his father Hugues de Crèvecœur to the church of Cléville in the abbey of Troarn as well as the tithe of three mills.
Arc. Dptle cote H 7799
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