St Pierre’s Church
Montcuq belonged to the Pons and Rudel families, Seigneurs of
Bergerac in the 12th and 13th centuries who built Bergerac’s
fortress and bridge. Their considerable power was dissipated in
the middle of the 14th century when Bergerac became a royal town
and therefore no longer fell under the Montcuq jurisdiction
which was reduced to just 12 parishes. Henceforth the d’Albret
family legally - if not always in reality - possessed the town
from 1334 till the 16th century.
Following the sale, in 1535, of Rouffignac to the Seigneur de
Bridoire, in 1600 the Monbazillac Seigneury became independant
taking with it the parishes of Colombier and Saint Christophe.
The Chapel of St Mayme
counted henceforth only four parishes, those of Pomport, St
Mayme, Le Monteil and Rouillac.
Between 1620 and 1622, during particularly troubled times for
the Protestants and the royal forces, a retainer in the
Château de Montcuq, Captain Montlong, seized possession of the
old château and took refuge there - Frédéric de Foix, the
Count of Courssou, having never lived there !
Richelieu ordered Montcuq to be pulled down and so when the
rebellious « Croquants » took possession of the castle, it was
little more than a ruin. The Gontaut Biron family inherited
the barony and seigneury in 1714 but the old fortress was not
on the inventory - despite several buildings being recorded as
still standing in 1674 - as a fire had completed the
destruction in the meanwhile. It was subsequently sold in 1777
to Louis de Brianson, Baron of Perrou and Hilaire de Fonvielle,
Seigneur of Monbucher.
However, the Revolution was nearing and with it the abolition
of the privileges and ‘rights’ of the Seigneurs : the title of
Seigneur itself would soon no longer exist.
However, even at the end of the 19th century we could still
gain a clear idea of what the castle must have looked like :
oval in shape and over 100m long and 30m large. The plateau on
which it was built was surrounded by a terrace several meters
wide which was, in turn, was surrounded by ditches. By 1900
sections of the walls were only 1m or 1.5m high and they have
since been totally destroyed. Flint axe heads, Roman pottery
and coins have been found on the site.
St Pierre’s Church
The basic structure of the church is Romanesque, although was
destroyed during the Wars of Religion to be built again by the
Courssou de Caillevel family. The bell-tower was replaced in
1904 and resembles a square, battlemented, castle tower, a
sentry post or a sort of quietly elegant minaret of feudal
Saint Mayme Chapel
On the other hand, the old parish of St Mayme (patron saint :
St Maxim) which used to share parishes with Pomport, still has
its church despite it being destroyed several times. The 11th
century apse and the wall-belfry are listed on the
Supplementary Inventory of Historical Monuments.
According to legend, during the Hundred Years War a gentleman
from St Mayme betrayed his suzerain, the Seigneur de Montcuq,
who, as well as having his rebellious retainer killed, had his
manor house destroyed and kept for himself the salt-producing
lands. The name Salagre (from the Latin, saltun ager) remains
although the salt has long since disappeared - perhaps into
the Salègre stream which crosses the property. Today, the land
belongs to the St Exupery family.
Sanxet, once home to the nobility, provides a good example of
a 15th century Périgourdin gentleman’s home with its corner
tower, mullioned windows and steeply-roofed main body.
In the entrance hall sits a pile of hand-made cannon balls
which have been found in the surrounding fields.
Noble lodgings which at one point belonged to the Courssou
family. The current manor house was built circa 1780 by
Etienne Escot who returned to Pécany having made his fortune
as a wine merchant in Holland. The house is extremely
picturesque : its « main body is adorned with pepper box
fortifications and it is flanked by two wings which look out
over a vast field to the south and to the north give on to a
courtyard and outbuildings ».
Noble house whose chapel is still standing.
A haunt of the nobility, belonged to the Alba family.
An old wine-producing estate into which was born Blanche de
Ferrière, wife of Julian Viaud, known as Pierre Loti.
Ancient fief and haunt of the nobility. The Gaignère
manuscripts at the National Library contain references to
homage paid to the King of England by the Seigneur de ‘Mons
Longus’ in 1273.