The Château d'Angers is a castle in the city of Angers in the Loire Valley, in the département of Maine-et-Loire, in France. Founded in the 9th century by the Counts of Anjou, it was expanded to its current size in the 13th century, it is located overhanging the river Maine. It is a listed historical monument since 1875. Now open to the public, the Château d'Angers is home of the Apocalypse Tapestry; the Château d'Angers was built as a fortress at a site inhabited by the Romans because of its strategic defensive location. In the 9th century, the Bishop of Angers gave the Counts of Anjou permission to build a castle in Angers; the construction of the first castle begun under Count Fulk III, celebrated for his construction of dozens of castles, who built it to protect Anjou from the Normans. It became part of the Angevin Empire of the Plantagenet Kings of England during the 12th century. In 1204, the region was conquered by Philip II and the new castle was constructed during the minority of his grandson, Louis IX in the early part of the 13th century.
Louis IX rebuilt the castle in black slate, with 17 semicircular towers. The construction undertaken in 1234 cost 4,422 livres one per cent of the estimated royal revenue at the time. Louis gave the castle to his brother, Charles in 1246. In 1352, King John II le Bon, gave the castle to his second son, Louis who became count of Anjou. Married to the daughter of the wealthy Duke of Brittany, Louis had the castle modified, in 1373 commissioned the famous Apocalypse Tapestry from the painter Hennequin de Bruges and the Parisian tapestry-weaver Nicolas Bataille. Louis II and Yolande d'Aragon added a royal apartments to the complex; the chapel is the name given to churches which enshrined a relic of the Passion. The relic at Angers was a splinter of the fragment of the True Cross, acquired by Louis IX. In the early 15th century, the hapless dauphin who, with the assistance of Joan of Arc would become King Charles VII, had to flee Paris and was given sanctuary at the Château d' Angers. In 1562, Catherine de' Medici had the castle restored as a powerful fortress, her son, Henry III, reduced the height of the towers and had the towers and walls stripped of their embattlements.
Nonetheless, under threat of attacks from the Huguenots, the king maintained the castle's defensive capabilities by making it a military outpost and by installing artillery on the château's upper terraces. At the end of the 18th century, as a military garrison, it showed its worth when its thick walls withstood a massive bombardment by cannons from the Vendean army. Unable to do anything else, the invaders gave up. A military academy was established in the castle to train young officers in the strategies of war. Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington, best known for taking part in the defeat of Napoleon Bonaparte at the Battle of Waterloo, was trained at the Military Academy of Angers; the academy was moved to Saumur and the castle was used for the rest of the 19th century as a prison, powder magazine, barracks. The castle continued to be used as an armory through the Second World Wars, it was damaged during World War II by the Nazis when an ammunition storage dump inside the castle exploded.
On 10 January 2009, the castle suffered severe damage from an accidental fire due to short-circuiting. The Royal Logis, which contains old tomes and administrative offices, was the most damaged part of the chateau, resulting in 400 square metres of the roof being burnt; the Tapestries of the Apocalypse were not damaged. Total damages have been estimated at 2 million Euros. According to Christine Albanel, the Minister of Culture, the expected date of completion for the restoration was the second trimester of 2009. Today, owned by the City of Angers, the massive, austere castle has been converted to a museum housing the oldest and largest collection of medieval tapestries in the world, with the 14th-century "Apocalypse Tapestry" as one of its priceless treasures; as a tribute to its fortitude, the castle has never been taken by any invading force in history. The outer wall is 3 metres thick, extends for about 660 m and is protected by seventeen massive towers; each of the perimeter towers measures 18 m in diameter.
The château covers an area of 20,000 square metres. Two pairs of towers landward entrances of the château; each of the towers was once 40 metres in height, but they were cut down for the use of artillery pieces. The Tour du Moulin is the only tower. Loire Valley List of castles in France Apocalypse Tapestry on the French Wikipedia Delbos, Claire, La France fortifiée: Châteaux, citadelles et forteresses, Petit Futé, ISBN 978-2-84768-198-7 Prestwich, Michael, "Castle Construction", Castles: A History and Guide, Blandford Press, pp. 28–43, ISBN 0-7137-1100-0 Baynes, T. S. ed. "Angers", Encyclopædia Britannica, 2, New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, p. 29 Chisholm, Hugh, ed. "Angers", Encyclopædia Britannica, 2, Cambridge University Press, p. 8–9 Mallet, Angers, le château: Maine-et-Loire, Association pour le développement de l'inventaire des Pays de la Loire, ISBN 978-2-906344-29-7 Mesqui, Jean, Le château d'Angers, Paris: Centre des monuments nationaux/ Monum. Éditions du patrimonie Château d'Angers - City of Angers Ministry of Culture database entry for Château d'Angers Ministry of Culture photos Castle of Angers in Google Cultural Institute
Château de Blois
The Royal Château de Blois is located in the city center of Blois at the Loir-et-Cher département in the Loire Valley, in France. The residence of several French kings, it is the place where Joan of Arc went in 1429 to be blessed by the Archbishop of Reims before departing with her army to drive the English from Orléans; the Château of Blois controlled the town of Blois and comprises several buildings. Construction of these buildings ended in the 17th century. There are four architectural styles represented at the Chateau of Blois which include: 13th-century Medieval fortress, The Louis XII Gothic wing, The Francois I Renaissance wing, the Gaston of Orleans Classical wing, it has 75 staircases although only 23 were used frequently. There are 100 bedrooms, with a fireplace in each. In 854 the Castle of Blois, known as Blisum castrum, was attacked by Vikings. In the 10th and 11th centuries; the Counts of Blois and landowners from Chartres and Champagne joined together to rebuild the fortress. Thibaud le Tricheur raised the “big tower” and by the end of the 12th century, the Counts contributions were finished by building the Saitn-Sauvuer.
The "Salle des États Généraux", built in the beginning of the 13th century, is one of the oldest seignoral rooms preserved in France, is the largest remaining civilian Gothic room. The room was used as a court of justice by the Counts of Blois and was used in 1576 and 1588 for the "États Généraux"; the medieval castle was purchased in 1391 by Louis I, Duke of Orléans, brother of Charles VI. It was inherited by their son, Charles d'Orléans the poet, taken prisoner at Agincourt in England. After twenty-five years as a hostage in England, Charles d'Orleans returned to his beloved Blois and helped rebuilt the chateau as a more commodious dwelling, it became the favourite royal residence and the political capital of the kingdom under Charles' son, King Louis XII. At the beginning of the 16th century, King Louis XII initiated a reconstruction of the entry of the main block and the creation of an Italian garden in terraced parterres where Place Victor Hugo stands today; this wing, of red brick and grey stone, forms the main entrance to the château, features a statue of the mounted king above the entrance.
Although the style is principally Gothic, as the profiles of mouldings, the lobed arches and the pinnacles attest, there are elements of Renaissance architecture present, such as a small chandelier. When Francis I took power in 1515, his wife Queen Claude had him refurbish Blois with the intention of moving from the Château d'Amboise to Blois. Francis initiated the construction of a new wing and created one of the period's most important libraries in the castle. After the death of his wife in 1524, he spent little time at Blois and the massive library was moved to the royal Château de Fontainebleau, it is this library that formed the royal library and the backbone of the Bibliothèque nationale de France. In this wing, the architecture and ornamentation are marked by Italian influence. At the centre is the monumental spiral staircase, covered with fine bas-relief sculptures and looking out onto the château's central court. Behind this wing is the façade of the Loges, characterised by a series of disconnected niches.
Driven from Paris during the French Wars of Religion, King Henry III lived at Blois and held the Estates-General convention there in 1576 and 1588. During the December 1588 convention the king had his arch-enemy, Henry I, Duke of Guise assassinated; the following day, the Duke's brother, Louis II, Cardinal of Guise was assassinated. After this, the castle was occupied by the first Bourbon monarch. On Henry's death in 1610, it became the place of exile for his widow, Marie de' Medici, when she was expelled from her son's court, Louis XIII. In 1626, King Louis XIII gave the Château of Blois to his brother and heir, Gaston duc d'Orléans as a wedding gift. In 1634, Gaston embarked on building a new castle in Blois; the task of developing this new castle was given to François Mansart. The rear of the courtyard is where Mansart began this ambitious project building with a main dwelling house; this house should have been the first building in a large-scale reconstruction project. The project was stopped in 1638 when Gaston's nephew was born, future Louis XIV.
With Louis XIV birth, Gaston was no longer eligible for financing. This wing makes up the rear wall of the court, directly opposite the Louis XII wing; the central section is composed of three horizontal layers where the superposition of Doric and Corinthian orders can be seen. By the time of the French Revolution the immense castle had been neglected for more than a hundred and thirty years; the content, many of its statues, royal coats of arms of the palace were removed. In a state of near total disrepair, Château of Blois was scheduled to be demolished but was given a reprieve as a military barracks. In 1840, the initiative of Prosper Mérimée placed the Chateau of Blois on the list of historical monuments; this allowed state funds to be used in the preservation. It was restored under the direction of the architect Félix Duban; the chateau is now used as a public museum. On view for visitors are the supposed poison cabinets of Catherine de' Medici. Most this room, the "chamber of secrets", had a much more banal purpose: exhibiting precious objects for guests.
Today, the château is a tourist attraction. Châteaux of the Loire Valley Gardens of the French Renaissance List of castles in France Château de Blois - official site Château de Blois - The official website of F
Jérôme-Napoléon Bonaparte was the youngest brother of Napoleon I and reigned as Jerome I, King of Westphalia, between 1807 and 1813. From 1816 onward, he bore the title of Prince of Montfort. After 1848, when his nephew, Louis Napoleon, became President of the French Second Republic, he served in several official roles, including Marshal of France from 1850 onward, President of the Senate in 1852. Jérôme was born in Ajaccio, the eighth and last surviving child of Carlo Buonaparte and his wife, Letizia Ramolino, he was a younger brother of his siblings: Joseph Bonaparte, Napoleon Bonaparte, Lucien Bonaparte, Elisa Bonaparte, Louis Bonaparte, Pauline Bonaparte, Caroline Bonaparte. He studied at the Catholic College of Juilly, served with the French Navy before going to the United States. On Christmas Eve, 24 December 1803, nineteen-year-old Jérôme married Elizabeth "Betsy" Patterson, the eighteen-year-old daughter of a prosperous ship-owner and merchant, William Patterson, in Baltimore, his older brother Napoleon was unable to convince Pope Pius VII in Rome to annul the marriage, so he annulled the marriage himself, as a matter of state.
At the time, Jérôme was on his way to Europe with Elizabeth, pregnant. They landed in neutral Portugal, Jérôme set off to Italy to persuade his brother to recognize the marriage. Elizabeth tried to land in Amsterdam, hoping to enter France so her baby would be born on French soil, but the Emperor barred the ship from entering the harbor. Elizabeth went to England instead; the child, Jérôme Napoléon Bonaparte, was born there. After the child was born, the Emperor followed up his decree of divorce with Roman Catholic and French state divorce proceedings. Jérôme submitted to the Emperor's demands, Elizabeth returned to America with her son. Elizabeth was declared divorced from Jérôme by a special decree and act of the Maryland General Assembly in 1815. Napoleon made his brother King of Westphalia, a short-lived realm created by Napoleon from several states and principalities in northwestern Germany. After Napoleon's subsequent defeat, the Allies reorganized the German states into a German Confederation with Austrian leadership overriding prior claim of lesser states.
The Napoleonic realm of Westphalia had its capital in Kassel. Jérôme was married, as arranged by Napoleon, to Princess Catharina of Württemberg, the daughter of Frederick I, King of Württemberg. A marriage to a German princess was intended to boost the dynastic standing of the young French king; when Jérôme and Catharina arrived in Kassel, they found the palaces in a plundered state. As such, they placed orders for an array of stately furniture and expensive silverware with leading Parisian manufactures. Local artisans, eager for commissions, oriented themselves with these French models; the king intended to refurbish his capital architecturally, the court theatre ranks among the small number of projects realised. Jérôme had it designed by Leo von Klenze and constructed next to the summer residence known as "Wilhelmshöhe", changed to "Napoleonshöhe". To emphasize his rank as a ruler, pander to his own ego, Jérôme commissioned grandiose state portraits of himself and his spouse, Queen Catharina.
Other paintings were to celebrate his military exploits, with many of France's most prominent painters taken into his employ. As a model state, the Kingdom of Westphalia was expected by Napoleon to serve as an example for the other German states, it received the first parliament to be found on German soil. Jérôme imported the Empire style from Paris, bestowing the new state with a modern, representative appearance; the small kingdom thus received more attention since the famous Treaty of Westphalia, which ended the Thirty Years' War a hundred and fifty years earlier in 1648. Thanks to these efforts by King Jerome, Kassel celebrated an enormous cultural upturn. However, Jérôme's expensive habits earned him the contempt of Napoleon, his court incurred expenses comparable to Napoleon's court, Napoleon refused to support Jérôme financially. In 1812, Jérôme was given command of a corps in the Grande Armée. Insisting on travelling "in state", Napoleon reprimanded Jerome, ordering him to leave his court and luxurious trappings behind.
After the Battle of Mir, Jérome occupied Mir Castle. In pique at Napoleon's order, Jérôme returned with his entire train to Westphalia. After the defeat in Russia during the following winter, Jerome petitioned Napoleon to allow his wife to go to Paris, fearing the advance of the Allied armies. On the second attempt, Napoleon granted permission. Jérôme re-entered the army in 1813, when his kingdom was being threatened from the east by the advancing allied Prussian and Russian armies, he led a small force to challenge their invasion. Following a clash with an enemy detachment, he made camp with his army, hoping for reinforcements from the French army in the west. However, before reinforcements arrived, the main allied force captured Kassel; the Kingdom of Westphalia was declared dissolved, Jérôme's kingship ended. He fled to join his wife, the former queen, in France. During the "Hundred Days", Napoleon placed Jérôme in command of the 6th
Château de Chaumont
The Château de Chaumont is a castle in Chaumont-sur-Loire, Loir-et-Cher, France. The castle was founded in the 10th century by Count of Blois. After Pierre d'Amboise rebelled against Louis XI, the king ordered the castle's destruction. In the 15th century Château de Chaumont was rebuilt by Charles I d'Amboise. Protected as a monument historique since 1840, the château was given into state ownership in 1938 and is now open to the public; the name Chaumont derives from the French chauve mont, meaning "bald hill". The first castle on this site, situated between Blois and Amboise, was built by Odo I, Count of Blois, in the 10th century, with the purpose of protecting his lands from attacks from his feudal rivals, Fulk Nerra, Count of Anjou. On his behalf the Norman Gelduin improved it and held it as his own, his great-niece Denise de Fougère, having married Sulpice d'Amboise, passed the château into the Amboise family for five centuries. Pierre d'Amboise unsuccessfully rebelled against King Louis XI and his property was confiscated, the castle was dismantled on royal order in 1465.
It was rebuilt by Charles I d'Amboise from 1465–1475 and finished by his son, Charles II d'Amboise de Chaumont from 1498–1510, with help from his uncle, Cardinal Georges d'Amboise. The château was acquired by Catherine de Medici in 1550. There she entertained numerous astrologers, among them Nostradamus; when her husband, Henry II, died in 1559 she forced his mistress, Diane de Poitiers, to accept the Château de Chaumont in exchange for the Château de Chenonceau which Henry had given to de Poitiers. Diane de Poitiers only lived at Chaumont for a short while. In 1594, at the death of Diane's granddaughter Charlotte de la Marck, the château passed to her husband, Henri de La Tour d'Auvergne, Duke of Bouillon, who sold it to a tax farmer Largentier, who had grown rich on gathering in the salt tax called the gabelle. Largentier being arrested for peculation, the château and the title of sieur de Chaumont passed into a family originating at Lucca, who possessed it until 1667, when it passed by family connections to the seigneurs de Ruffignac.
Paul de Beauvilliers, duc de Beauvilliers and duc de Saint-Aignan, bought the château in 1699, modernized some of its interiors and decorated it with sufficient grandeur to house the duc d'Anjou on his way to become king of Spain in 1700. His eventual heir was forced to sell Chaumont to pay his debts to a maître des requêtes ordinaire to Louis XV, Monsieur Bertin, who demolished the north wing built by Charles II d'Amboise and the Cardinal d'Amboise, to open the house towards the river view in the modern fashion. In 1750, Jacques-Donatien Le Ray purchased the castle as a country home where he established a glassmaking and pottery factory, he was considered by the French as a "Father of the American Revolution". However, in 1789, the new French Revolutionary Government seized Le Ray's assets, including his beloved Château de Chaumont. Madame de Staël acquired the château in 1810; the comte d'Aramon bought the neglected château in 1833, undertook extensive renovations under the architect Jules Potier de la Morandière of Blois, inspector of the works at the château de Blois.
By 1851 the "Chaumont suite" of early-16th century Late Gothic tapestries with subjects of country life emblematic of the triumph of Eternity associated with Chaumont and now at the Cleveland Museum of Art, was still hanging in the "Chambre de Catherine de Médicis". The castle has been classified as a Monument historique since 1840 by the French Ministry of Culture. Marie-Charlotte Say, heiress to the Léon Say sugar fortune, acquired Chaumont in 1875; that year, she married Amédée de Broglie, who commissioned the luxurious stables in 1877 to designs by Paul-Ernest Sanson, further restored the château under Sanson's direction and replanted the surrounding park in the English naturalistic landscape fashion. She donated Château de Chaumont to the government in 1938; the Château de Chaumont is a museum and every year hosts a Garden Festival from April to October where contemporary garden designers display their work in an English-style garden. List of castles in France Official website for Chaumont Photos of Château de Chaumont and other Loire castles
Indre-et-Loire is a department in west-central France named after the Indre River and Loire River. In 2016, it had a population of 606,223. Sometimes referred to as Touraine, the name of the historic region, it nowadays is part of the Centre-Val de Loire region, its prefecture is subprefectures are Chinon and Loches. Indre-et-Loire is a touristic destination for its numerous monuments that are part of the Châteaux of the Loire Valley. Indre-et-Loire is one of the original 83 departments established during the French Revolution on 4 March 1790, it was created from the former province of Touraine. Its prefecture Tours was a centre of learning in the Early Middle Ages, having been a key focus of Christian evangelisation since St Martin became its first bishop around 375. From the mid-15th century, the royal court repaired with Tours as its capital. After the creation of the department it remained politically conservative, as Honoré de Balzac recorded in several of his novels. Conservative Tours refused to welcome the railways which instead were obliged to route their lines by way of Saint-Pierre-des-Corps on the city's eastern edge.
The moderate temper of the department's politics remained apparent after the Franco-Prussian War of 1870: sentiments remained predominantly pro-royalist during the early years of the Third Republic. For most of the nineteenth century, Indre-et-Loire was a rural department, but pockets of heavy-duty industrialisation began to appear towards the century's end, accompanied by left-wing politics. 1920 saw the birth of the French Communist Party at the Congress of Tours. By 1920, Saint-Pierre-des-Corps had become a major railway hub and a centre of railway workshops: it had acquired a reputation as a bastion of working class solidarity. Indre-et-Loire is part of the region of Centre-Val de Loire; the President of the General Council is Marisol Touraine of the Socialist Party. Indre-et-Loire is home to numerous outstanding châteaux that are open to the public, among them are the following: Château d'Amboise Château of Azay-le-Rideau Château de la Bourdaisière Château de Chenonceau Château de Chinon Château de la Guerche Château de Langeais Château de Loches Château de Marçay Château de Montpoupon Château de Plessis-lez-Tours Château du Rivau Château de Tours Château de Villandry Château du Clos Lucé Château d'Ussé Cantons of the Indre-et-Loire department Communes of the Indre-et-Loire department Arrondissements of the Indre-et-Loire department Prefecture website General Council website Indre-et-Loire at Curlie Official tourist website of Touraine Loire Valley
The French Revolution was a period of far-reaching social and political upheaval in France and its colonies beginning in 1789. The Revolution overthrew the monarchy, established a republic, catalyzed violent periods of political turmoil, culminated in a dictatorship under Napoleon who brought many of its principles to areas he conquered in Western Europe and beyond. Inspired by liberal and radical ideas, the Revolution profoundly altered the course of modern history, triggering the global decline of absolute monarchies while replacing them with republics and liberal democracies. Through the Revolutionary Wars, it unleashed a wave of global conflicts that extended from the Caribbean to the Middle East. Historians regard the Revolution as one of the most important events in human history; the causes of the French Revolution are still debated among historians. Following the Seven Years' War and the American Revolution, the French government was in debt, it attempted to restore its financial status through unpopular taxation schemes, which were regressive.
Leading up to the Revolution, years of bad harvests worsened by deregulation of the grain industry and environmental problems inflamed popular resentment of the privileges enjoyed by the aristocracy and the Catholic clergy of the established church. Some historians hold something similar to what Thomas Jefferson proclaimed: that France had "been awakened by our Revolution." Demands for change were formulated in terms of Enlightenment ideals and contributed to the convocation of the Estates General in May 1789. During the first year of the Revolution, members of the Third Estate took control, the Bastille was attacked in July, the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen was passed in August, the Women's March on Versailles forced the royal court back to Paris in October. A central event of the first stage, in August 1789, was the abolition of feudalism and the old rules and privileges left over from the Ancien Régime; the next few years featured political struggles between various liberal assemblies and right-wing supporters of the monarchy intent on thwarting major reforms.
The Republic was proclaimed in September 1792 after the French victory at Valmy. In a momentous event that led to international condemnation, Louis XVI was executed in January 1793. External threats shaped the course of the Revolution; the Revolutionary Wars beginning in 1792 featured French victories that facilitated the conquest of the Italian Peninsula, the Low Countries and most territories west of the Rhine – achievements that had eluded previous French governments for centuries. Internally, popular agitation radicalised the Revolution culminating in the rise of Maximilien Robespierre and the Jacobins; the dictatorship imposed by the Committee of Public Safety during the Reign of Terror, from 1793 until 1794, established price controls on food and other items, abolished slavery in French colonies abroad, de-established the Catholic church and created a secular Republican calendar, religious leaders were expelled, the borders of the new republic were secured from its enemies. After the Thermidorian Reaction, an executive council known as the Directory assumed control of the French state in 1795.
They suspended elections, repudiated debts, persecuted the Catholic clergy, made significant military conquests abroad. Dogged by charges of corruption, the Directory collapsed in a coup led by Napoleon Bonaparte in 1799. Napoleon, who became the hero of the Revolution through his popular military campaigns, established the Consulate and the First Empire, setting the stage for a wider array of global conflicts in the Napoleonic Wars; the modern era has unfolded in the shadow of the French Revolution. All future revolutionary movements looked back to the Revolution as their predecessor, its central phrases and cultural symbols, such as La Marseillaise and Liberté, fraternité, égalité, ou la mort, became the clarion call for other major upheavals in modern history, including the Russian Revolution over a century later. The values and institutions of the Revolution dominate French politics to this day; the Revolution resulted in the suppression of the feudal system, emancipation of the individual, a greater division of landed property, abolition of the privileges of noble birth, nominal establishment of equality among men.
The French Revolution differed from other revolutions in being not only national, for it intended to benefit all humanity. Globally, the Revolution accelerated the rise of democracies, it became the focal point for the development of most modern political ideologies, leading to the spread of liberalism, radicalism and secularism, among many others. The Revolution witnessed the birth of total war by organising the resources of France and the lives of its citizens towards the objective of military conquest; some of its central documents, such as the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen, continued to inspire movements for abolitionism and universal suffrage in the next century. Historians have pointed to many events and factors within the Ancien Régime that led to the Revolution. Rising social and economic inequality, new political ideas emerging from the Enlightenment, economic mismanagement, environmental factors leading to agricultural failure, unmanageable national debt, political mismanagement on the part of King Louis XVI have all been cited as laying the groundwork for the Revolution.
Over the course of the 18th century, there emerged what the philosopher Jürgen Habermas called the idea of the "public sphere" in France and elsewhere
A hedge or hedgerow is a line of spaced shrubs and sometimes trees and trained to form a barrier or to mark the boundary of an area, such as between neighbouring properties. Hedges used to separate a road from adjoining fields or one field from another, of sufficient age to incorporate larger trees, are known as hedgerows, they serve as windbreaks to improve conditions for the adjacent crops, as in bocage country. When clipped and maintained, hedges are a simple form of topiary; the development of hedges over the centuries is preserved in their structure. The first hedges enclosed land for cereal crops during the Neolithic Age; the farms were with fields about 0.1 hectares for hand cultivation. Some hedges date from the Bronze and Iron Ages, 2000–4000 years ago, when traditional patterns of landscape became established. Others were built during the Medieval field rationalisations. Many hedgerows separating fields from lanes in the United Kingdom and the Low Countries are estimated to have been in existence for more than seven hundred years, originating in the medieval period.
The root word of'hedge' is much older: it appears in the Old English language, in German, Dutch to mean'enclosure', as in the name of the Dutch city The Hague, or more formally's Gravenhage, meaning The Count's hedge. Charles the Bald is recorded as complaining in 864, at a time when most official fortifications were constructed of wooden palisades, that some unauthorized men were constructing haies et fertés – interwoven hedges of hawthorns. In parts of Britain, early hedges were destroyed to make way for the manorial open-field system. Many were replaced after the Enclosure Acts removed again during modern agricultural intensification, now some are being replanted for wildlife. A hedge may consist of a single species or several mixed at random. In many newly planted British hedges, at least 60 per cent of the shrubs are hawthorn and hazel, alone or in combination; the first two are effective barriers to livestock. Other shrubs and trees used include holly, oak and willow. Of the hedgerows in the Normandy region of France, Martin Blumenson said, The hedgerow is a fence, half earth, half hedge.
The wall at the base is a dirt parapet that varies in thickness from one to four or more feet and in height from three to twelve feet. Growing out of the wall is a hedge of hawthorn, brambles and trees, in thickness from one to three feet. Property demarcations, hedgerows protect crops and cattle from the ocean winds that sweep across the land; the hedgerows of Normandy became barriers that slowed the advance of Allied troops following the D-Day invasion of WWII. Formal, or modern garden hedges are grown in many varieties, including the following species: Berberis thunbergii Buxus sempervirens Carpinus betulus Crataegus monogyna Fagus sylvatica Fagus sylvatica ‘Purpurea’ Ilex aquifolium Ligustrum ovalifolium Photinia fraseri Prunus laurocerasus Prunus lusitanica Quercus ilex Taxus baccata Thuja occidentalis Thuja plicata Hedgerow trees are trees that grow in hedgerows but have been allowed to reach their full height and width. There are thought to be around 1.8 million hedgerow trees in Britain with 98% of these being in England and Wales.
Hedgerow trees are both an important part of the English landscape and valuable habitats for wildlife. Many hedgerow trees are veteran trees and therefore of great wildlife interest; the most common species are oak and ash, though in the past elm would have been common. Around 20 million elm trees, most of them hedgerow trees, were felled or died through Dutch elm disease in the late 1960s. Many other species are used, notably including beech and various fruit trees; the age structure of British hedgerow trees is old because the number of new trees is not sufficient to replace the number of trees that are lost through age or disease. New trees can be established by planting but it is more successful to leave standard trees behind when laying hedges. Trees should be left at no closer than 10 metres apart and the distances should vary so as to create a more natural landscape; the distance allows the young trees to develop full crowns without competing or producing too much shade. It is suggested that hedgerow trees cause gaps in hedges but it has been found that cutting some lower branches off lets sufficient light through to the hedge below to allow it to grow.
Hedges are recognised as part of a cultural heritage and historical record and for their great value to wildlife and the landscape. They are valued too for the major role they have to play in preventing soil loss and reducing pollution, for their potential to regulate water supply and to reduce flooding. In addition to maintaining the health of the environment, hedgerows play a huge role in providing shelter for smaller animals like birds and insects. Recent study by Emma Coulthard mentioned the possibility that hedgerows may act as guides for moths, like A. rumicis, when flying from one location to another. As moths are nocturnal, it is unlikely that they use visual aids as guides, but rather are following sensory or olfactory markers on the hedgerows. Hedges were used as a source of firewood, for providing shelter from wind, rain an