Historical Cities-Dieppe and Upper Normandy, France is now available on Google Maps

Link to Google Maps

Dieppe is a seaport, fishing harbor, and fashionable watering-place, situated on the English Channel at the mouth of the Arques, between two ranges of chalk cliffs.  The harbor, whence the cross-channel boats ply to Newhaven, is commodious and deep.

Dieppe probably originated in the Gaulish and Roman settlement of the Cite de Limes.  It was colonized in the 10th century by Norse adventurers, to whom it owes its name (in allusion to the depth of the harbor).  The earliest castle here was built by Henry II of England.  Dieppe, like St-Malo, was the home of many corsairs and bold adventurers, whose exploits included the pillaging of Southampton (1339), a blockade of Lisbon (1530), and voyages of discovery to every shore from Iceland to the Gold Coast.

Under Francis I, the port became the most flourishing in France, and the local manufacture of carved ivory from imported tusks dated from this period.  Its large Protestant population suffered by the revocation of the Edict of Nantes, and in 1694 the town was ruthlessly bombarded by the English fleet, which was returning from an unsuccessful attack on Brest, so that it had to be almost entirely rebuilt.  In 1870 and 1871, it was held by the Prussians for seven months.  The harbor was enlarged between 1914 and 1918.  Among celebrated Dieppois are Jean Ango (1480-1551), the corsair and merchant prince; Jean Cousin, one of the claimants to the discovery of Brazil (1488); and Abraham Duquesne (1610-1688), the Calvinist admiral who vanquished De Ruyter of Sicily.

Normandy (French for Normandie), the ancient duchy and province of France, now represented by the departments of the Seine-Inferieure, Eure, Orne, Calvados, and the Manche, owed its early name of Terra Northmannorum or Northmannia to its occupation in the early part of the 10th century by the Norsemen (Normands).  It is one of the most attractive regions of France, with a varied landscape of hedgerows, orchards, cornfields, and pastures, recalling England.  The coast-line is formed by white chalk cliffs, and in the winding dales of the interior are many remains of medieval architecture, village spires and venerable castles and abbeys, some of which were founded in the time of the conquerors of England.  The most picturesque portion is the lower basin of the Seine.  Since the time of their Scandinavian ancestors, whose regular trade was piracy, the Normans have been supposed to possess a somewhat grasping character; and they have been styled ‘the lawyers of France’ from their fondness for legal forms and processes.  At the same time they are tenacious in their French patriotism.  Butter and cheese, the staple products of Normandy, are very largely exported to England.



Forgotten Landmark-Chapelle Saint Jean Baptiste de Pleine Sevette, Neville, Upper Normandy, France

Chapelle Saint-Jean-Baptiste de Pleine-Sevette (Rue de la Chapelle and Pleine Sevette, Pleine Sevette)

Located on private land, this chapel was constructed in the first quarter of the 16th century. It stands next to a cottage that is available for rent.  A photo of the chapel is available at the website below.



Chapel SatelliteChapel Map


Forgotten Landmark-Site of Bois l’Abbe, Beaumont, France

This archaeological site is located 3.8 kilometers southeast of D49 on Route de Beaumont, southeast of the city of Eu.

Site of Bois l'Abbe

Bing Maps 2014

This site is located in the L’Abbé woods, approximately 4 kilometers southeast of the town of Eu. The name Augusta, transmitted by 7th century texts, is probably that of an ancient estate; it appears again in the name of the modern village of Oust. The ensemble, partially excavated in the 19th century, covers more than 30 hectares on a plateau dominating the valley of the Bresle.

The great temple, built under Septimius Severus at the farthest extension of the plateau, was perhaps dedicated to Rome and Augustus. Forming a quadrilateral (32 x 27 meters), it consists of a vestibule in antis opening on a cella 13 meters on a side; the whole was surrounded on three sides by a gallery 4 meters wide. Built of local materials (flint and limestone) with brick bonding courses, it has lost its painted and carved decoration over the centuries. The cella was constructed on the ruins of a small temple, 8 meters on a side, built under Antoninus. Part of its decorations have survived.

These buildings occupied the site of a depository of sacred objects, used from the time of Augustus to that of Claudius. The area, which underwent architectural development about the middle of the 1st century A.D., has yielded discoveries of importance, particularly for the study of Belgic numismatics. To the north, west, and south, soundings have revealed the presence of other buildings, perhaps linked by a portico. They appear to have been contemporaneous with the large temple, and to have replaced older structures.

The theater is 200 m to the east, on the east slope of the plateau, towards the forest. Its facade, still only partially excavated, is approximately 100 m long, and from the middle of the stage wall to the surrounding wall is roughly 60 meters. This wall, which has been partially uncovered, was constructed of small blocks without brick bonding courses. It was modified and repaired, and during one of these modifications, in which flint, chalk, and tufa are mixed with brick, the stage wall was built in the 3rd century. The stage shows traces of a colonnade with a decoration of over lapping leaves, supporting a wooden architrave to which a long inscription was applied at the time of construction.

To the southeast, the fields are scattered with remains which may be those of a bath house, and on the edge of the forest are large substructures.[i]

[i] AUGUSTA AMBIANORUM Seine-Maritime, France; Princeton Encyclopedia of Classical Sites; http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/text?doc=Perseus%3Atext%3A1999.04.0006%3Aalphabetic+letter%3DA%3Aentry+group%3D11%3Aentry%3Daugusta-ambianorum

Forgotten Landmark-Aqueduc de Toustain, Petit-Appeville, Normandy, France

Aqueduc de Toustain (239-291 Rues des Fontaines, Le Petit-Appeville)

This is an entrance to a dry subterranean channel dug in 1558 to lead the waters of the Scie to the town and castle of Dieppe, 1.8 miles to the east. Dieppe is separated from the Scie by a chalk hill 81 meters high. In 1530, the city of Dieppe proposed constructing the aqueduct between the valleys of the Scie and the Arques. The aqueduct consists of two pottery pipes that are each 7 inches in diameter. Its use ended in 1882 after numerous repairs due to natural causes.[i] Tours can be reserved at

[i] Alphonse Alexis Debauve, Édouard Imbeaux; Distributions d’eau, Volume 3; Vve Ch. Dunod, 1906; pg 57-59.

Aqueduc de Toustain

Forgotten Landmark-Castle at Neuf-Marche, Neuf-Marche, Bray Valley, France

“The village of Neufmarché, about a league from Gournay, on the right bank of the Epte, still retains a small part of its castle, built by Henry I, to command the passage of the river, and to serve as a barrier against the incursions of the French. Its situation is good, upon an artificial hill, surrounded by a fosse; and the principal entrance is still tolerably entire. But the rest is merely a shapeless heap of ruins: the interior is wholly under the plough; and the fragments of denudated walls preserve small remains of the coating of large square stones, which formerly embellished and protected them. Neufmarché, in the days of Norman sovereignty, was one of the strong holds of the duchy. The chroniclers speak of the village as being defended by a fortress, in the reign of William the Conqueror. The church, too, with its semi-circular architecture, attests the antiquity of the station.”

Castle at Neuf-Marche


Turner, Dawson; Account Of A Tour In Normandy – Volume II, Letters from Normandy Addressed to the Reverend James Layton, B.A. of Catfield, Norfolk; 1820; Letter XVI, pg 44-45.


Forgotten Landmark-Saint Valéry Church, Varengeville sur Mer, France

Saint-Valéry Church (Route de l’Eglise, north of Chemin En Impasse, Varengeville sur Mer)

The Saint-Valéry Church in Varengeville-sur-Mer is perched on top of the cliffs of Ailly, hidden among gardens and woods bordering the cliff and overlooks the sea from a height of 84 metres. The lateral aisle in sandstone dates back to 1548 and was perhaps built by Jehan Ango to enlarge the primitive sanctuary. The Choir is bathed in a blue light diffused by the abstract stained glass of Raoul Ubac, disciple of Braque. The wreathed column is decorated with reliefs which were inspired by maritime expeditions. The 3rd column is polygonal (a Henry II pillar top). In 1998, Michel Ciry offered a large oil canvas entitled “Christ The Redeemer”. Important protection and consolidation tasks were recently undertaken by the municipality, the State, the Department and the Region.

It is surrounded by the marine cemetery, made famous by 2 brothers, Jérôme and Jean Tharaud, who lived in Varengeville and wrote several texts about it in the Chronicles of Figaro in 1948. This was the beginning of the fame of this sanctuary. Some artists compare the texts of the Tharaud brothers to the poem by Paul Valéry, the Marine Cemetery, written in 1920 and singing the charms of the marine cemetery of Sète. Analogies were drawn between the two cemeteries.[i]

Saint-Valéry Church

[i] Monuments-The Churches; Dieppe-maritime tourisme; http://uk.dieppetourisme.com/discover/heritage/monuments