The paper presents a constitutive model for argillaceous rocks, developed within the framework of elastoplasticity, that includes a number of features that are relevant for a satisfactory description of their hydromechanical behaviour: anisotropy of strength and stiffness, behaviour nonlinearity and occurrence of plastic strains prior to peak strength, significant softening after peak, time-dependent creep deformations and permeability increase due to damage. Both saturated and unsaturated conditions are envisaged. The constitutive model is then applied to the simulation of triaxial and creep tests on Callovo-Oxfordian (COx) claystone. Although the main objective has been the simulation of the COx claystone behaviour, the model can be readily used for other argillaceous materials. The constitutive model developed is then applied, via a suitable coupled hydromechanical formulation, to the analysis of the excavation of a drift in the Meuse/Haute-Marne Underground Research Laboratory. The pattern of observed pore water pressures and displacements, as well as the shape and extent of the damaged zone, are generally satisfactorily reproduced. The relevance and importance of rock anisotropy and of the development of a damaged zone around the excavations are clearly demonstrated.