Hendomen 6
Two parishes in Normandy

The two adjacent parishes are part of the Canton of Livarot in the Calvados department of Normandy and were specifically in the region known as the ‘Pays d’Auge’, an area bounded in the north by the channel coast between the mouth of the River Dives to the west and Trouville to the east of the mouth of the River Touques. Its western boundary is the Dives and the eastern one the Touques, both rivers rising to the south near the town of Gace. The small hamlet of Ste. Foy is in the south of the area between the towns of Livarot and Vimontiers. It is about half an hour by coach from the bigger town of Lisieux [pop. c.20 000] to the north. I reached Lisieux by train from the important port of Caen, having taken the channel ferry from Portsmouth; Caen to Lisieux was timed at 32 minutes.
Photograph by kind permission of H.N. Oliver Cottage in Ste. FoyeAn example of the fine half-timbered homes of the Pays d'auge. Although similar to the black and white structures of the Welsh Marches they differ in colour. Here in this part of Normandy the timber is pale brown and the infill is cream.
The home on the right is that of the proprietaire of the land on which stood Roger de Montgommery's ancestral home - a timber motte and bailey castle.


I was able to find the home of the then Mayor who received me kindly and then took me to the home of the owner of the ground on which Roger's motte and bailey timber castle stood. This was the ancestral home of the Montgomerys. It is set in very attractive rural surroundings and I was immediately impressed by the size of the bailey, considerably larger than the one in Wales - large enough in fact to have had some form of agricultural machinery to cut the hay which had grown on it as there were three rounds of hay in black plastic.
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