The village of Crevole dates back to the early medieval period, mentioned in a papal bull of Pope Clement III of 20 April 1189 for the presence of a parish church dedicated to Santa Cecilia. The fortress was fortified at the behest of Bishop Donosdeo Malavolti in 1325 and devastated by the Ghibellines who had escaped from Siena.
The area where the Crevole castle stands, basically the entire current municipal territory of Murlo was, during medieval times, one of the main feuds of the Bishop of the Siena’s area. The privilege was granted in 1189 and already at the end of the same century the episcopal dominion over the area was total, so much so that it constituted almost entirely its landed patrimony. From 1274, while maintaining full power over the fief, the bishops were subject to the obligation of militia in favor of the Municipality of Siena and from 1387 to the payment of a tribute. Only in 1749 the rights of the bishop on Murlo and its territory were abolished. As evidence of the long period spent under the ecclesiastical hegemony a fraction of the capital still bears the name of “Vescovado”.
Although the already named town of Murlo was the capital of the feud another important residence of the bishop was the Castle of Crevole, already existing at the time of the constitution of privileges but the new owner’s needs are better met by a larger and more fortified structure. In the early years of the fourteenth century the Bishop Malavolti further strengthened the structure.
The garrison stationed at the castle was Sienese, although salaried by the lord of the fief and Siena itself tried to take over at the end of the fifteenth century. The most important act of arms that affected Crevole was also the last act of its existence: during the war of Siena the imperial troops completely razed the fortification to the ground. Of the important manor, once surrounded by double walls and full of towers, today only the tower at the top of the hill (presumably the original nucleus of the first structure), part of the walls of the keep and some features of the basal part of the outer walls.
The fortress founded in 1189 preserves in addition to what remains of the ancient fortifications various traditions linked to the figure of Bishop Donosdeo Malavolti who died there in battle around the middle of 1300 to defend it from brigands who wanted to plunder it.
Legend has it that his ghost first appeared a long time later when the fortress was robbed by the Spaniards in 1554. The bishop armed with a crucifix launched his anathema against the looters. Since then, anyone who threatens the castle risks the curse of Donosdeo who appears at night with “eyes of flame and feet of embers”.
Some traditions indicate that the nights of full moon, during which still brandishing the cross, with an army of soldiers following him in his appearances dragging and screaming, hurls with ancient words his curses.
Another version, more enriched, says that the bishop wants not only to defend his beloved fortress again and for ever, but also the precious library that occupies its basement. Hidden in the vast tunnels, the Donosdeo library has not yet been discovered and has not had the right custody of the precious materials it preserves and which the bishop was very fond of. If it is true, as legend has it, the ghost will have peace only when the library is found and until that day the screams and groans of the wounded and the dying will not stop and neither will the apparitions of the ghost.