Puynormand (the village)
A little history…
Man has always inhabited the land on which the
village of Puynormand now stands. Proof of Neolithic occupation is found in
the cut flints present in various areas of the village, and a Roman occupation
may be indicated both by the name Vilatte which could have derived from the
latin via late (by the road), and by the location called Pierre plantée which
refers to a milliary column.
A text dating back to 1274 referring to the
village as Podo Normani is testimony of the Viking’s presence.
Middle Ages, a wooden tower was replaced by a stone keep, which was later
extended and became an impressive Feudal Castle covering over 4000m², but which
was subsequently dismantled under the reign of Louis XIII.
During the 12th
century, the Roman church of Saint Hilaire was built, and was modified at the
end of the 16th century following damaged caused by the various religious wars.
The Albret family owned Puynormand's vast district for two hundred years, and
had jurisdiction over its 22 parishes.
Henri IV divided it into different lots
in 1602, and sold it to pay off his war debts.
During the time of the
revolution, the village held a county town status, and hosted the county court
for around ten years. Early in the 19th century, Puynormand became like any
other village and its population progressively declined from 1,200 inhabitants
in 1850, to 300 residents today.