About Château de Courcy
The Château de Courcy is a ruined castle in Normandy typical of 12th-13th century military architecture.
History of Château de Courcy
The first castle in Courcy was likely built of earth and wood. The structure consisted of a succession of three defensive enclosures of a type of fortification – one which surrounded the village, another around the lower court, and the last constituting the heart of the fortress. Today, only the last of the three remains.
Records from 1091 indicate that the castle originally belonged to Richard de Courcy, and was besieged by Robert Curthouse, the father of William the Conqueror. At the start of the 17th century, it was demolished by order of Richelieu – a French clergyman and statesman -and, losing all military function, slowly became an agricultural enterprise.
Surrounded by moats, the last fortification was around 10m high and defended by twelve towers, of which nine remain, and a square tower which likely served as a keep. Elsewhere inside are the remains of the Saint Catherine chapel, which dates to the 12th century and was significantly remodelled in the 15th-16th centuries.
Château de Courcy today
In 1975, the remaining parts of the château were protected by being added to the supplementary inventory of historical monuments. In spite of this protection, the condition of the site has continued to deteriorate and very little survives today.
Getting to Château de Courcy
A GPS will likely take you to a large chateau which goes by the same name and is a popular holiday rental. It’s best to get to Courcy and ask a local for advice. The nearest city is Caen, from where Courcy is an hour and 5 minutes by car via the A84 road.
As one of the great historic regions of France, Normandy is bursting with a number of stunning castles with equally compelling histories to match. Here's our pick of 10 of the best.