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  • The Baguette
  • De captivants à banals, les articles et photographies de “The Baguette” sont une tentative de publier un journal de ma vie dans la Manche et de proposer un forum de discussion pour tout ce qui touche à la Normandie.
  • De captivants à banals, les articles et photographies de “The Baguette” sont une tentative de publier un journal de ma vie dans la Manche et de proposer un forum de discussion pour tout ce qui touche à la Normandie.


July 23 2011 7 23 /07 /July /2011 13:32

302 Vauville303 Vauville305 VauvilleOn Friday, after some cloudy skies in the morning, the sun came out and I decided to continue with my hikes along le sentier des douaniers near Vauville.  I parked near l’ancien carrière at the bottom of the D318 and proceeded to walk down la rue following the signs to le prieuré.  304 Vauville306 Le prieuré de Vauville307 Le prieuré de VauvilleThe Benedictine priory of St-Michel, which stands on a hill to the left of the road, was founded in 1147 by Richard, grandson of William of Vauville.  He was responsible for bringing here the monks of Cerisy-la-Forêt.  It has long been called the Priory of St-Hermel and is the same priory where the Blessed Thomas Hélye (1187-1257), chaplain of St-Louis, came to study when he was very young.  His body now lies in a reliquary tomb at the church in Biville.  308 Le prieuré de Vauville309 Le prieuré de Vauville310 Le prieuré de VauvilleSadly, the priory is now a private residence and visits are not permitted beyond the white gate.  310a Le prieuré de VauvilleFamous local artist, Jean-François Millet did this oil painting of the priory.  It now hangs in a museum in Amsterdam.  312 VauvilleThis hike was only 8.2 kilometres long and was quite easy-going despite most of the uphill walking.  At one point, I was at a level altitude with the La Hague Reprocessing Plant which I could see in the distance.  311 VauvilleUp here there are a lot of fenced-in properties with cows, sheep, goats and horses grazing—I had to be sure I closed gates behind me as I went along the trails.  314 Le Lavoir, Vauville316 VauvilleLe petit Doué lies at the bottom of the path where I stumbled upon a covered lavoir once used by residents to wash their clothes.  I wanted to visit the church in Vauville again and so I followed the signs into town.  336 L'église Saint-Martin, VauvilleThe church was placed under the patronage of St-Martin and its construction is dated to around 1160, shortly after that of the priory.  The three-level bell tower has Romanesque windows and is covered with a pyramid roof.  There used to be three bells in the belfry but they were recast in Villedieu on February 3, 1951 and the new electric bell was blessed on June 12, 1952.  333 L'église Saint-Martin, Vauville326 L'église Saint-Martin, Vauville323 L'église Saint-Martin, VauvilleThe nave is covered in wood from the 12th century.  The Lady Chapel dates from the beginning of 13th century as does the Gothic choir, which was renovated in the 18th century and is well lit by the modern windows placed there in 1966.  331 L'église Saint-Martin, Vauville330 L'église Saint-Martin, Vauville329 L'église Saint-Martin, Vauville328 L'église Saint-Martin, Vauville327 L'église Saint-Martin, VauvilleJust beyond the church are the château and the jardin botanique.  I chose not to visit them since I’ve been there so many times before.  The château was built in 1163 by Richard of Vauville—only the keep remains.  The current building from the 17th century has two wings built at right angles above the former foundations.  337 Château de VauvilleIt is the property of Guillaume Pellerin whose father designed the botanical gardens nearby.  In 1972 the château was inscribed as a historical monument and the gardens were included in 1992.  The château is almost always closed since it is a private residence and therefore only opens during European Heritage Days in October.  However, the gardens are open throughout the year and are quite beautiful.  They contain the largest palm grove in northern Europe.  341 La plage, VauvilleAfter walking around the town, I followed the beach back to where I parked my car.301

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