The commune of
Cours de Pile is situated in the south of the Dordogne, in the
‘Périgord Pourpre’, on the left bank of the river, 5km from
The village has a population of
1611* covers 1082 hectares between the banks of the
Dordogne River and the first chalky hillsides of the region.
It is bordered to the west by the small valley of the Conne.
The southern point of the commune reaches an altitude of 100m
at ‘La Garenotte’ and the land slopes progressively downwards
until reaching merely 30m above sea-level by the banks of the
geographical land types :
Due to the fertility of the soil this is prime agricultural
Large fields planted with cereal crops and, occasionally,
tobacco are sometimes divided by hedges and form an open
To the west of the commune, near Bergerac, the plain also
accommodates a built-up area.
To the east, the Château de Pile, surrounded by woods, is a
remarkable site whose image has been adopted by the municipality
for their logo.
The banks of the river are formed of uneven, twenty-meter high
cliffs covered by damp-loving trees ( poplars, alder, ash).
Boats can be moored in two separate places near the hamlet of
Migay making the river more easily accessible for fishing here.
The terrace is separated from the alluvial plain by a 10-15m
wooded slope at the top of which sits the village itself. Seen
from the vantage point of the plain, its topographical position
accords both it and the church an imposing air. The 1.5km-wide
terrace is planted with crops and the fields are intermittently
broken up by hedges.
Cereal crops are predominant although there are some plum
orchards and a little animal husbandry. The land has long been
under pressure from the construction industry and by the early
1980s local government recognised the need for zoning
regulations. Today the line between farming and building land is
clearly drawn : to the east of the Coustinet road the land is
reserved for agriculture while, to the west, most of the land is
served by the general sanitation and drainage network making it
ideal for building.
The south-east of the commune is hilly. An island of residential
buildings at the hill’s summit, the ‘Garenotte’, enjoy a
fantastic view over the Dordogne valley and the opposite
hillside, home to the famous Pécharmant vineyards, as well as
the vineyards and château of Monbazillac.
The wooded hills, representing about 10% of the commune’s
surface area, are mainly covered with oak trees although a fair
amount of maritime pine also grows here.
A few fields are given over to farming but the majority of the
woods are owned by private individuals and used essentially for
hunting, walking and mushroom picking in the autumn.
*(official population on January 1, 2017)