Hendomen 7
Ancestral monuments

Before going to the motte, the Mayor had taken me to the parish church of Ste. Foy [Faith], a small but attractive stone church. Close by was the River Vie [River Life, a not inappropriate name for a source of water]. I was astounded when later in the day the proprietor of the motte, Monsieur Courtonne showed me the letter of thanks from the local council which they had sent. It had been carefully preserved.

The stone built parish church of Ste. Foye de Montgommery in the Calvados department of Normandy

Photograph by kind permission of H.N. Oliver

photo of Ste. Foye church
The parish adjacent to Ste Foye is the site of Roger de Montgommery's ancestral home.
For students of modern history, it was about one kilometre to the south of this church on the road to Vimoutiers that Field Marshall Erwin Rommel, the German commander, while travelling in a field car, was attacked and seriously injured by a single British fighter aircraft. He later took part in an attempted plot against Hitler, was discovered and forced to commit suicide.


Two years earlier Monsieur Courtonne and his wife had received another visitor, a Mr Charles Bridgeman of Shropshire, a well known family there. He had been researching the history of his wife’s family, her maiden name was Montgomery. He had also had correspondence with a Norwegian whose name was also Montgomery.

The interior of Ste.Foye (faith) de Montgommery church

Photograph by kind permission of H.N. Oliver 

interior of church
The church has a mosaic tile floor, two impressive candelabra and, to the left of the altar, a small statue of Ste. Foye. The pews are constructed of wood. Nearby runs the River Vie.

The small hamlet lies between the little towns of Vimoutiers and Livarot in an area known as the Pays d'auge, forming part of the Canton of Livarot.

  The Normans [Northmen] were originally Danish [Vikings] so there was a probable connection there. It turned out to be a most interesting visit for me. However, it was not to end there as in September of this year [1998] Monsieur Courtonne and his wife and two friends from Vimoutiers [M. et Mme Dupont] paid a visit to Montgomery, Wales. M. Courtonne kindly presented a framed print of Normandy [with Montgomery at the centre] to the Montgomery Civic Society. It is to hang in the ‘Old Bell’ museum, a reminder of the close links which exist between the two small towns. 

ancestral monument
A plaque on the wall of the parish church of Ste. Foye de Montgommery in Normandy. It gives an outline history of the family and descendants of Roger de Montgommery, who around 1070 built a motte and bailey timber castle at Hendomen in Mid-Wales, some twenty miles west of Shrewsbury. This was replaced in 1227 by a stone castle some mile to the south - it is around this later building that the present day town of Montgomery has grown.
(see map on Hendomen 1)

Photograph by kind permission of H.N. Oliver  


© H.N. Oliver
December 1998

  There are 7 pages on the norman origins of Hendomen. Use the box links below to view the other pages