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Travelling salesman for the souls in purgatory – from Montligeon

Driving through the mellow villages and pretty countryside of the Perche Ornais (south Normandy), to see La basilique Notre-Dame de Montligeon is something of a surprise. Standing very talk against the ancient Perche forest, the basilica was constructed in dramatic gothic style just over 100 years ago. Why here? This isn’t the site of an ancient…

Chateau life in Normandy; Le Vieux Chateau Le Renouard

The high walls of the old chateau in our postcard were designed to keep people out.  They hadn’t bargained for Donna McDougall, but that wouldn’t be for a few hundred years… Over 1000 years of history Renaoud de Bailleul built the first stone castle in this valley, he was one of the Bailleul’s who accompanied…

The humiliation of perfidious Guimond, from Moulins-la-Marche

This view is from the old castle, now just a hill, at Moulins-la-Marche in the Perche.  Looking out through gently swaying trees across the Perche countryside or back into the town it’s hard to believe these were once the badlands of medieval Normandy. Marche in this instance is from ‘marka’ an old Frankish word for…

The resurrection of a talking Church in Ménil-Gondouin

A determined Abbé Here are two men happy in their work.  Together they are making the world a slightly better place and their satisfaction is clear.  Not a selfish, self-interested satisfaction but the joy of creating something that will enhance the lives of the people they love. Well, if there is a bit of pride…

From Nonant-le-Pin to… German PoW life in Normandy

The battle of the Falaise Pocket from 12 – 21 August 1944 was one of the most terrible events of the Second World War.  Enemy troops forced into a shrinking space were butchered from every side and above. By 22 August 1944 Allies had closed the infamous ‘Pocket’ around thousands of enemy troops.  Estimates vary,…

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