Liste des sites du Cotentin

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(canton of Saint-Sauveur-le-Vicomte, Manche)


    In the siege of the Cotentin Vicomté in the 11th century Saint-Sauveur-le-Vicomte was given to the Néel family, founders of the Benedictine abbey of Saint-Sauveur in 1067.
Néel II, for having taken part in 1047 in the plot of the western Norman barons against the young Duke William, which culminated in their defeat at Val-ès-Dunes, lost his vicomté, and was punished with seven years in exile, before being restored to his assets but not to his position.
In the 12th century Saint-Sauveur passed to the Taisson family and subsequently to the Harcourt family. One of the younger sons of the family, Godefroy, was their heir at the start of the Hundred Years War in which he took an active part... on the English side. On his death he left his barony to Edward III of England who appointed one of his best captains, John Chandos as its trustee.
The earth and wooden castle of the Néel family was replaced in the 12th century by the large square keep supported by flat buttresses, which rises in the south east corner over the Douve valley. In the 13th century on the south-west a large bastion called the Batterie, or also the Vieux Donjon [old keep], which seems to indicate that the Romanesque keep had largely been dismantled.
In the 14th century the curtain walls, châtelets and flanking towers on the lower and upper courtyards were re-worked and reinforced by Godefroy d'Harcourt and John Chandos. The keep was also partly rebuilt, and topped by machicolations and crenelations. It was in the 16th century that on its upper platform a small house of doubtful aesthetic value was built which tops the building rather unexpectedly.

Bernard Beck


- Beck, Bernard . - Châteaux forts de Normandie, Editions Ouest-France, 1986
- Decaens, Joseph. " Le château de Saint-Sauveur-le-Vicomte ", in L'Architecture normande au Moyen-Age, T. 2, éditions Charles Corlet, Presses Universitaires de Caen, 1997