Crèvecœur Castle, locally known as Château de Crèvecœur, lies north west of the village of Crèvecœur-en-Auge in the Calvados department in the Normandy region in France.
Crèvecœur Castle was probably built during the 12th century, before 1195, when a Jean de Crèvecœur was mentioned. In later centuries it was strengthened several times. During the 100-Years War it was damaged but it was rebuilt after 1448.
This motte-and-bailey castle is a nice example of a local small rural manor from the Middle Ages. The circular inner bailey, on a moated island, was where the main castle stood as it was the residence of the lord. It was only accessible over a wooden drawbridge from the lower outer bailey. This outer bailey, also moated, was where the farming activities took place. In times of turmoil local villagers could also seek refuge on the outer bailey, which used to be equipped with earthen wall topped with a wooden palisade. In medieval times the outer bailey consisted of two separate baileys; the middle and the outer bailey, separated by yet another moat.
There are several buildings on the outer bailey; a farm building, used as such until the 1970's, a dovecote and a tithe barn, rebuilt in the 1970's after the original was destroyed at the end of the 19th century. All were built in the local style of vertical half-timber framing. On the former middle bailey stands the 12th century chapel, which was used for services until the 1930's.
On the motte the remnant of the main castle also incorporates a hall out of vertical half-timber framing. This part of the castle was also inhabited until the 1970's.
The gatehouse may look like it belongs there, but it doesn't. It was rebuilt on this site, outside the medieval castle, in 1973. Originally it was part of the castle of Beuvillers (near Lisieux).
At present Crèvecœur Castle is a museum. The buildings on the outer bailey tell the story of the rural manor. The main castle is more dedicated to the Schlumberger family, who inhabited the castle and whose foundation still ownes it. The site can be visited for a fee. A very nice rural castle.