Chateau Crevecoeur is accessed by bridge over the Moat which still has water. Inside, was the manor house where the Lord lived and the High court was. He was protected by a high wall which has been restored quite a lot.
The Chapel is located outside of the Castle in the Intermediate court and not in the High court as Chapel's usually are. It was quite plain, built in the Romanesque architecture and I could still see a few frescoes. The Chapel was stopped being used in the 1930s.
Different events are held through out the year, so if you are coming, it may pay to check if something is on then.
OPEN April - September 11- 6pm
July & August 11 - 7pm
October...................... 2 - 6pm
The main reason I came here was, the Chateau and to see the preserved houses, farms, church & more dating back to the 12th century that are in this open air museum.
It is an exhibition on the accomplishments of the Schlumberger brothers and an exhibition on the history of Crevecoeur.
I would like you to join my husband and I, as we take a walk around the complex.
There is a set numbered route to follow, and at each building, a description of what you are looking at. I also picked up a pamphlet on my way in.
No 1, was the 16th century gatehouse, and it was here where I paid the admission fee and the souvenir shop was located. The Gatehouse building comes from the ancient castle of Beuvillers (near Lisieux) and is built in similar stone to Chateau Germain De Livet
No 2 was the "Outer Bailey" a large lawned area.
No 3 was a 15th century farm which we were able to go inside for a look. Originally, part of the building was where the Farmer lived and the other part was for the Horse stables, fodder etc.
no4 A 15th century dovecote, a symbol of feudal power and wealth. The loft is used to store food for the table of the lord.
No 5 Was the outdoor bread oven where the bread was baked daily.
OPENING HOURS 11am - 6pm closing at 7pm in the Summer
We arrived a bit before the opening at 11 o'clock so wandered the grounds enjoying the heavily laden apple trees. When eleven o'clock arrived, we purchased our tickets in the beautiful gate house, crossed the moat and entered the grounds through the portiere of the 15th century farmhouse.
Inside we entered and explored the farmhouse and settled in to watch a video on restoring Norman half-timbered buildings. It was fascinating. It is in French but has English subtitles.
Afterwards we visited the dovecote (now doveless) and moved on to the barn wherein lies the Schlumberger Museum of oil drilling and mining. We watched part of the video and viewed the collection and cheerfully moved on to the chapel where there was a very nice (and to us, more interesting) exhibit on medieval music with lots of instruments, music and costumed mannikins. If you are an engineer or interested in mining or oil drilling, the Schlumberger Museum might be of more interest than the wonderful music exhibit.
Thence on to the château with very nicely arranged exhibits. There are two brief floors and the restoration continues. We then checked the small herb garden and ducks in the inner moat.
There are photos of most buildings. Just click on the photo to see the other photos.
Driving past the local cemetery one Sunday afternoon we spotted on the gate post the familiar plaque indicating that a Commonwealth Grave was also there.
Inside we found the well tended grave of Private A. Linley of the York & Lancaster Regt. who died on 20th. August 1944 aged 27.
Yet another poignant reminder of the horrors experienced in this peaceful countryside.
No longer a working farm - but facilities exist to demonstrate here, on the special farm days held throughout the year, what farming was like in the 15th Century.
Pig styes and ponds, streams providing fish, fowls and pigeons and farming implements for use in the production of grain all give young visitors an insight into how food got to the table before the arrival of supermarkets.
The remains of this 12th century castle has, within the inner bailey an ancient well, and a 15th century manorial dwelling - partly furnished in an eclectic choice of period styles!.
It does however have an important educational function, easily discerned from the interactive graphics designed for younger visitors.
After passing through the "state rooms" do take time to watch the video recording of one of the medieval re-enactments that take place at the Castle/Chateau every summer.
How we wished we could have been there in person to enjoy the truly brilliant presentation of life here in the middle ages.
The video is the next best thing - do not miss it!
The Chapel was deconsecrated in the 1930s and now serves as an exhibition space.
The Herb Garden
Outside and alongside the chapel, a small herb garden, demonstrates the importance in medieval times of herbal medicine. The herbs are arranged according to their spedific uses - fever, aches & pains, coughs & chest problems, the wounds of battle and infections.
The Schlumberger brothers, Conrad (b.1878) and Marcel (b.1884) were the sons of a successful Alsace man who moved to Normandie on his marriage to a local woman.
These two boys inherited their father's scientific mind and busines acumen. They started their primitive experiments at an early age and went on to develop scientific prospecting techniques that have revolutionised the world by advancing the discovery and exploitation of oil and other mineral deposits.
The Chateau and all its buildings were bought by the Schlumberger Foundation in 1970. After a long period of restoration it opened its doors as a museum telling the Schlumberger success story, providing insights into the life and times of the buildings, and dedicated to firthering scientific research - as well as the preservation of traditional Normandy architecture.
I think Conrad and Marcel would be surprised to know how big their little acorn has grown - now Schlumberger is one of the mightiest players in the global business of underground exploitation of oil and other valuable commodities.
It struck me as somewhat incongruous to be visiting this museum - located in a lovingly restored medieval building, paying tribute to and commemorating the exploitation of oil, whilst the controversy about the Gulf American BP disaster was ongoing.
This is the most important visitor attraction in the village - only a km or so away from the traffic lights in the village centre.
It comprises the remains of an 11th C. castle and a 15th C. manorial dwelling with surrounding farm buildings - the farm house, colombier and barn.
Purchased and restored in 1970 by the Schlumberger family (of whom more in a later Tip) it now provides an excellent presentation of medieval life with interactive features specially aimed at younger visitors but facinating too for adult viewers.
In the farmhouse you may watch a video about the architecture and building techniques used in traditional Normandy dwellings. It goes on to explain how those methods are still being used to restore old buildings. A fascinating, excellently produced film.
In other parts of the building see an exhibtion of the special carpentry tools and techniques used in creating these enduring, beautiful buildings - And a recreated medieval kitchen.
The Colombier ( Pigeon House) is of an unusual square construction with gables. It could accommodate 1700 pairs of pidgeons, in individual nestng boxes, providing food for the manor and the farm, all year round.
The audio/visual presentations that can be seen here are of a very high quality and well worth watching.
In the grounds facilities that demonstrate the activities of farm life used on the various "special event" weekends can be seen.
Copyright restictions prevent me from including scenes from the videos of the various enactments that take place here.
Do not fail to sit and view them - they are amongst the best I have seen, historical in content, great fun and very informative.