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St Pierre’s Church

Montcuq
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
 

The castellany 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 !

 

In 1628 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 appearance.

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.

The Salagre
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
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.

Chateau de Pécany
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 ».

Caillavel
Noble house whose chapel is still standing.

The Gironie
A haunt of the nobility, belonged to the Alba family.

The Birondie
An old wine-producing estate into which was born Blanche de Ferrière, wife of Julian Viaud, known as Pierre Loti.

Montlong
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.


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