The old bailliage of Pont-de-l'Arche

Publié le par Armand LAUNAY


Rue Blin. Public property. It’s not open to visitors. 

On the whole, its architecture dates back to the 18th century. From Philippe Auguste up to the French Revolution, Pont-de-l’Arche was the administrative chief-town of the region (including Louviers, Elbeuf, and most of Le Neubourg plateau). The bailliage (bailiwick) represented royal authority and gathered four courts: 

1. the bailliage itself: the equivalent of the court of first instance, the court of summary jurisdiction; 

2. the election which arbitrated any questions concerning taxation in first instance (tallage and assistance?); 

3. the forestry authority: the ancestor of the ONF (Office national des forêts), except that the forest wardens acted as a police under the Old Regime;  

4. the salt authority which passed judgment on the contraventions to the ruling concerning the salt taxes.

To be more accurate, the bailliage in Pont-de-l’Arche was subordinated to the one of Rouen (similar to our present sub-prefecture roughly speaking). 

In 1790, when the administrative bodies were reorganized, Pont-de-l’Arche lost its courts which were moved to Louviers, which for centuries had become far bigger thanks to its cloth mills. The bailliage building was then used as a townhall up to 1968. Afterwards it became private property before becoming public property again in 1998. 

For more details, you may consult (in French) : 

Publié dans The old bailliage

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