17 November 2009

Le Manoir de Dur Écu

Le Manoir de Dur-Ecu is a 16th century manor that was converted from a 13th century castle. It is located in our town about a mile or two from our place. Unfortunately we were not allowed inside except in one room and the cave. The tour took us around the grounds and explained various features of the architecture and such as well as the history. There is a legend that the tour guide told us about that is apparently also circulated in England.

Dur Écu means strong shield which is a name that originates from the following legend. The story goes that William the Conqueror's enemy threatened to cut off his head with an axe. A Norman knight named Richard le Fort, who was allegedly also William's cupbearer, protected William with his shield and the axe went deep into the wood of the shield without breaking it. William’s life was saved and the Strong Shield (also Fortescue) became a legend which reminds us that the castle was meant to defend Normandy against attackers.

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