It takes its name from Robert the Devil who, according to some, was Robert de Montgommery, also known as Robert le Magnifique ('the magnificent'), Duke of Normandy and father of William the Conqueror. However, there is no evidence that this person was involved in the construction .
The castle was built during the 11th and 12th centuries. It stands on a hill which dominates the River Seine, the view extending over the whole Rouen region, making it a particularly strategic location.
It is known that the English King Richard I ('Lionheart') stayed here. His brother, King John ('Lackland') destroyed the castle during his struggle with the King of France Philippe Auguste. The latter rebuilt it. During the Hundred Years War, the people of Rouen destroyed the towers to prevent the castle being used by the English.
Half ruined, it is today furnished with various artefacts as well as reconstructed scenes of local history and life in the Middle Ages. The castle is listed as a monument historique by the French Ministry of Culture.