The Feudal Mound

Feodale motte south side

press to zoom

Feodal motte north side

press to zoom
Motte féodale 13
Motte féodale 13

Feodal motte

press to zoom

Feodale motte south side

press to zoom
1/5

This mound probably dates back before 1042, as from that date its height was above the one permitted by the Dukes of Normandy. The geographic location must have been an asset in building up a village. From the top you can discover an unobstructed view of the loop of the River Seine. Below are extracts from a letter from Mr. Verlut, responsible for CARMEN (Centre Archéologique et de Recherche de l'Est de la Normandie) to Bernard Oger, village historian.

 

 

 

View of the Notre Dame de Venables church

press to zoom

View of the Venables lake

press to zoom

The motte in winter

press to zoom

View of the Notre Dame de Venables church

press to zoom
1/7

The whole of the centre of the Village contains relics of great interest for the regional history and genesis of the actual village, and, as a result, merits protection, study and development. The mound, called Motelle, principal element of fortification, was erected during the 11th century. Surrounded by a ditch, these fortifications include two elements, one more defensive than the other: the mound, the other more residential, being the farmyard. In Venables, the mound is well preserved except for the ditches which have been filled up and the south west side damaged. Because of its small size, one presumes that only a small wooden watch tower was built on it. The stones which have been found during the excavations carried out in the 20th century, correspond to a previous building of a farmyard between the mound and the road. The exact size is difficult to tell because of its disappearance. It is, however, believed that the well is medieval and was built in the farmyard. The defensive system is reinforced by a second ditch defining maybe a projecting out-work in fortification, having two embankments, or a narrow yard on the north west side, by the woods. The surface of this castle seems to have been saved from buildings, except for the Village Hall and presbitory which must have replaced old buildings. It is probably possible that the Village of Venables was protected by walls.

 

Another definition of the sites was given by Miss Varoqueau, Director of Historical Antiques from Haute-Normandie and Mr. Lemaitre, responsible for the medieval excavations. During a visit to Venables in 1986, they confirmed the historical importance of the mound and its surroundings. According to them, Gilbert de Venables lived in a donjon tower dominating the mound, a building about 4 to 5 meters wide and with a maximum of two floors. This tower was only used for eating, sleeping and sheltering from the cold weather, and was also used as a watch tower, which was important in those days. The lordly farmyard was placed between the mound and the wooded ravine. On the other side of the mound and the present rue of 9th and 10th of June 1940, was the villa-agraria, where the farmers lived in hovels.

reconstitution_de_la_Motte_Féodale.jpg

Bernard Oger and Patrick Lequette ventured a hypothesis on the birth of the village from conclusions they made together. The village must have seen the day by the arrival of Celts during the Tene period and was protected by a ditched wall. A watch tower was built during the roman occupation to watch the river near a road linking le Neubourg to the south west to les Andelys to the North and linked up with a large roman road from Lut�ce (Paris) to Rotomagus (Rouen). One of the tracks from the village still has traces of this roman road. The village changed during the Merovingien and Carolingien periods and successive buildings up until the 11th century created the mound that we know today.