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The Pharaon at Baignes-Sainte-Radegonde
The Pharaon at Baignes-Sainte-Radegonde
Coat of arms of Baignes-Sainte-Radegonde
Coat of arms
Baignes-Sainte-Radegonde is located in France
Coordinates: 45°23′05″N 0°14′06″W / 45.3847°N 0.235°W / 45.3847; -0.235Coordinates: 45°23′05″N 0°14′06″W / 45.3847°N 0.235°W / 45.3847; -0.235
Country France
Region Nouvelle-Aquitaine
Department Charente
Arrondissement Cognac
Canton Baignes-Sainte-Radegonde
Intercommunality 3B - Sud-Charente
 • Mayor (2014–2020) Gérard Delétoile
Area1 31.22 km2 (12.05 sq mi)
Population (2010)2 1,326
 • Density 42/km2 (110/sq mi)
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
 • Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
INSEE/Postal code 16025 /16360
Elevation 51–148 m (167–486 ft)
(avg. 75 m or 246 ft)

1 French Land Register data, which excludes lakes, ponds, glaciers > 1 km² (0.386 sq mi or 247 acres) and river estuaries.

2 Population without double counting: residents of multiple communes (e.g., students and military personnel) only counted once.

Baignes-Sainte-Radegonde is a French commune in the Charente department in the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region of south-western France.

The inhabitants of the commune are known as Baignois or Baignoises.[1]

The commune has been awarded one flower by the National Council of Towns and Villages in Bloom in the Competition of cities and villages in Bloom.[2]


Baignes-Sainte-Radegonde is the capital of its Canton and also of Petit Angoumois, a natural region of pine forests and lakes in the south-west of Charente. The commune is located some 15 km south-east of Jonzac and 18 km north of Montlieu-la-Garde. The northern, western, and southern borders of the commune are also the departmental border between Charente and Charente-Maritime. The town is located on the eastern border of the commune and is accessed by the D2 from Brossac in the south-east which passes through the town then continues west, changing to the D152 in Charente-Maritime, then continuing south-west to Montendre. The D14 comes from Le Tâtre in the north-east passing through the town and continuing south-east, changing to the D155 in Charente-Maritime, to Bran. The D100 goes north-west from the town, changing to the D152E1 in Charente-Maritime, to Saint-Maigrin. The D38 goes north from the town to Lamérac. The D132 branches from the D38 south of the town and goes south-east to Bors and also branches off the D2 in the west and goes north-west, changing to the D142E2 in Charente-Maritime, to Mortiers. The D446 branches from the D2 in the west of the commune and goes south-east, changing to the D255 in Charente-Maritime, to Vanzac. Route nationale N10 (E606) forms the south-eastern border of the commune.

There are several hamlets in the commune apart from the town: Chez Merle, La Perdasse, Puygareau, Chez Boutin, Les Clonnieries, Montmille, Mathelon, Chardes, and Pilledoux.[3]

Geology and terrain[edit]

A large part of the centre and west of the commune is from the Campanian period with chalky limestone from the Late Cretaceous which covers a large part of the southern Charente and Chrente-Maritime departments. The north and the south-east have terrain of kaolinic sandstone, clay, and pebbles dating from the Tertiary period. These soils are often covered in pine forests and are on the north-western edge of the Double saintongeaise forestry region.[4][5][6]

The western part of the commune forms a vast plain open to the west and the relief is focused on the east. There are significant woods covering the north and south-east of the commune which are part of the Double saintongeaise. The highest point in the commune is at an altitude of 148 m located south-east of Pilledoux. The lowest point is 51 m located along the Pharaoh river on the western boundary. The village of Baignes is 75 m above sea level.[7]


The Pharaon, a tributary of the Seugne which passes through Jonzac and is a sub-tributary of the Charente crosses the commune from east to west passing through the town. It forms the municipal boundary to the east with Touvérac and it is called the Ruisseau de la Grolle upstream. It rises at the foot of the highest point of the town in a small lake.

To the south-west of this same point is the Mathelon, another small indirect tributary of the Seugne (through the Lariat which flows through Bran), rises and flows west.

The northern border of the commune is formed by the Ruisseau de la Tâtre and, for some distance, by the Étang de Saint-Maigrin. The Tâtre is a tributary of the Trèfle, which is itself a tributary of the Seugne.

The commune is also dotted with many small lakes and reservoirs in the south and some sources in the north (Font du Bouille, Font du Quart).[7]


The climate is oceanic Aquitaine and similar to the town of Cognac (40 km north) where the departmental weather station is located.

Town Sunshine





National Average 1,973 770 14 22 40
Baignes-Sainte-Radegonde[9] 2,027 763 3 23 54
Paris 1,661 637 12 18 10
Nice 2,724 767 1 29 1
Strasbourg 1,693 665 29 29 56
Brest 1,605 1,211 7 12 75
Climate data for Cognac
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 9.4
Daily mean °C (°F) 6.1
Average low °C (°F) 2.8
Average precipitation mm (inches) 70.5
Average precipitation days (≥ 1 mm) 11.6 9.2 10.1 11.2 10.5 7.4 6.9 6.5 8.0 11.2 11.5 11.6 115.7
Mean monthly sunshine hours 77.3 111.1 160.2 179.3 211.4 351.4 254.6 239.4 219.3 141.6 91.4 89.6 2,026.6
Source: Meteorological data for Cognac - 59m altitude, from 1981 to 2010 January 2015 (French)

Neighbouring communes and villages[3][edit]


Old forms of the name are: Cathmeriacum, a name possibly of Celtic origin,[Note 1] before the 8th century when the abbey was founded which the monks named Beania (feminine singular). This name is found in 1068 and later[10] then Sancta Radegundis.[11]

Beanus in Low Latin means student newly arrived at the Academy or yellow beak[12] but, according to Dauzat, Beania could be a popular distortion of Bethania, a locality often mentioned in the Gospels.[13]


In Roman times Baignes-Sainte-Radegonde was called Cathmeriacum and the Pharaon river was called Cavallo.[10]

According to popular tradition the Abbey of Saint-Étienne of Baignes was built in the time of Charlemagne to the south of the town. In principle this abbey depended on the Order of Saint Benedict but Ramnulphe (Ramnulfus Focaudi), Bishop of Saintes between 1083 and 1106, entrusted it to the direction of Hugh, the Abbot of Cluny. Pierre II de Soubise, his successor at the Holy Bishopric (1107-1112), confirmed this assignment to the Abbot Pontius according to a chart kept in the archives of Cluny.[14]

In the 9th century Baignes was a viguerie which later became the Barony of Montausier. The Chateau of Montausier was a short distance from the town to the north. The only remains are an old tower and a fountain called Font de Madame of which the arch can be seen.

In the Middle Ages the monks of the abbey named the town Beania which included the abbey village and Montausier town.

The barony of Montausier with that of the neighbouring Chaux formed the enclave of Petit Angoumois (Little Angoumois),which relied on the Présidial of Angoulême for justice, and the steward of the Généralité of Limoges for administration. The territory consisted of a dozen parishes including seven which were, in whole or in part, in the department of Charente: Sainte-Radegund with Mathelon, Chantillac, Le Tâtre, Touvérac, Bors with Venet, part of Boisbreteau with Peirrefont. All the surrounding country was Saintonge, election Barbezieux. The parish of Baignes itself was saintongeaise and of this election. It was from these that the Baronies of Montausier and Chaux were detached in the Middle Ages from the County of Angoulême.

In principle the Barony of Montausier belonged to the Counts and Dukes of Angoulême but in 1031 Count Geoffroi Taillefer detached it from the County and gave it to his son Arnaud. The descendants of Arnaud Taillefer retained the land of Montausier for a long time before passing it to the Sainte-Maure family.

The most notable member of this family was Charles de Sainte-Maure, Duke of Montausier who was tutor to the Dauphin, son of Louis XIV, and in whose favour this prince elevated the Barony of Montausier to a duchy-peerage in 1665.

Charles de Montausier was an honest man of integrity but very disagreeable: he became a model for Molière for his character of Alceste in the comedy The Misanthrope.

Charles was succeeded by his only daughter, Julie Marie de Montausier who married Emmanuel II de Crussol, Duke of Uzès, Governor of Saintonge and Angoumois. This branch of Crussol owned Montausier until the Revolution without ever having lived there. The land was then confiscated due to emigration and the castle was destroyed in 1793.[15]

During the French Revolution Sainte-Radegund commune was provisionally called Pharon, then Radegonde-la-Plaine.[16]

In the 1870s Father Jean-Hippolyte Michon, author of the Monumental Statistics of Charente, built a mansion on the site of the ancient Chateau of Montausier.

At the beginning of the 19th century the main economic activity of Baignes was raising cattle and pigs. Almost all workers were textile workers who produced canvas which was sold in the Bordeaux markets. There were also several Tanners and Dressers who prepared tanned and white leather.[14]

In 1855 Sainte-Radegund merged with Baignes to form Baignes-Sainte-Radegonde.

In 1893 the first dairy cooperative in Charente was started in Baignes. The designation Beurre de Baignes (Baignes Butter) is still famous.


Arms of Baignes-Sainte-Radegonde

Lozengy of Or and Azure.


The Town Hall

List of Successive Mayors[17]

From To Name Party Position
1971 1995 Pierre-Rémy Houssin RPR
1995 2013 Pierre Jaulin UMP
2013 2020 Gérard Deletoile DVD

(Not all data is known)


Baignes-Sainte-Radegonde has twinning associations with:[18]


In 2010 the commune had 1,326 inhabitants. The evolution of the number of inhabitants is known from the population censuses conducted in the commune since 1793. From the 21st century, a census of communes with fewer than 10,000 inhabitants is held every five years, unlike larger communes that have a sample survey every year.[Note 2]

Population Change (See database)
1793 1800 1806 1821 1831 1836 1841 1846 1851
2,422 1,794 2,449 2,479 2,323 - 2,294 2,471 2,502
1856 1861 1866 1872 1876 1881 1886 1891 1896
2,541 2,631 2,417 2,266 2,227 2,215 2,122 2,002 1,899
1901 1906 1911 1921 1926 1931 1936 1946 1954
1,886 1,968 1,811 1,693 1,607 1,503 1,545 1,450 1,382
1962 1968 1975 1982 1990 1999 2006 2010 -
1,416 1,462 1,452 1,427 1,191 1,239 - 1,326 -

Sources : Ldh/EHESS/Cassini until 1962, INSEE database from 1968 (population without double counting and municipal population from 2006)

An old water Trough

N.B. Prior to 1856 the figures include both the communes of Baignes and Sainte-Radegonde.

Population of Baignes-Sainte-Radegonde

Distribution of Age Groups[edit]

The Tax Office
The Post Office

Percentage Distribution of Age Groups in Baignes-Sainte-Radegonde and Charente Department in 2010

Baignes-Sainte-Radegonde Baignes-Sainte-Radegonde Charente Charente
Age Range Men Women Men Women
0 to 14 Years 18.2 15.3 17.3 15.4
15 to 29 Years 11.8 11.9 16.4 14.3
30 to 44 Years 20.5 17.9 18.7 18.1
45 to 59 Years 21.5 19.9 22.1 21.5
60 to 74 Years 16.4 17.8 16.2 16.6
75 to 89 Years 11.4 15.2 8.8 12.5
90 Years+ 0.3 2.2 0.5 1.6




  • The André Malraux College caters for students from 6th to 3rd levels. In 2011 there were 143 students in eight classes.[19]
  • An Elementary school with five classes
  • A Kindergarten[20]

Other facilities and services[edit]

As capital of the Canton, Baignes has a Police station, a first aid station, and a post office.

Culture and heritage[edit]

The Chateau of Abbot Michon
The Covered Market
The old School at Sainte-Radegonde

Civil heritage[edit]

The commune has many buildings and sites that are registered as historical monuments:

  • Windmills (18th-19th century)Logo monument historique - rouge sans texte.svg[21]
  • A Chateau on D100 (1879)Logo monument historique - rouge sans texte.svg[22] by Abbot Michon, archaeologist and inventor of graphology.[23]
  • The Chateau de Montausier on D100 (15th century)Logo monument historique - rouge sans texte.svg[24]
  • A House at Rue du Champ de Foire (18th century)Logo monument historique - rouge sans texte.svg[25]
  • A Trade Shop at Rue du Champ de Foire (19th century)Logo monument historique - rouge sans texte.svg[26]
  • The War Memorial at Place de l'Eglise (20th century)Logo monument historique - rouge sans texte.svg[27]
  • The School on Grand Rue (1911)Logo monument historique - rouge sans texte.svg[28]
  • Farmhouses (18th century)Logo monument historique - rouge sans texte.svg[29]
  • A Mansion at Gadebor (15th century)Logo monument historique - rouge sans texte.svg[30]
  • A Covered Market (destroyed)Logo monument historique - rouge sans texte.svg[31]
  • Houses and Farms (18th-19th century)Logo monument historique - rouge sans texte.svg[32]

Religious heritage[edit]

Benedictine Abbey of Saint Etienne
Entrance to the Abbey

The commune has several religious buildings and structures that are registered as historical monuments:

  • A Cemetery Cross on D132 (19th century)Logo monument historique - rouge sans texte.svg[33]
  • A Wayside Cross at D14/D132 (20th century)Logo monument historique - rouge sans texte.svg[34]
  • The Benedictine Abbey of Saint Etienne (11th century).Logo monument historique - rouge sans texte.svg[35] The Abbey has a large number of items that are registered as historical objects. For a full list including links to descriptions (in French) click here.
  • The Saint Jacques Benedictine Priory (destroyed)Logo monument historique - rouge sans texte.svg[36]
  • A Presbytery at Sainte-Radegonde (1879)Logo monument historique - rouge sans texte.svg[37]
  • A Protestant Church (19th century)Logo monument historique - rouge sans texte.svg[38]
  • The Saint Radegonde Benedictine Priory (12th century).Logo monument historique - rouge sans texte.svg[39] The columns of the north wall are Romanesque while those of the south wall are clearly Gothic and date from the 13th century. The tower gate was built in the 19th century and replaced a simple pediment bell tower which had two bells. There is a remnant of an arch and the start of some vaults from the 13th century. Inside the church there is a stained glass window representing Saint Radegund, wife of Chlothar I. The priory contains many items that are registered as historical objects:

Notable people linked to the commune[edit]

  • Jean-Hippolyte Michon, born in Corrèze in 1806. He moved with his family to Charente and lived there for many years. He was a universal man: writer, journalist, and archaeologist. He built a mansion on the ancient ruins of the Chateau of Montausier. He himself was the designer and the inventor of the house with the help of workers of the trade. It was inspired by travels in the East to define an architecture that borrows from the medieval Machicolations and battlements and Oriental art for the arches. Founder of graphology, studied handwritten manuscripts to reveal the personality of the authors. In 1878 he published "The practical method of handwriting."
  • Charles de Sainte-Maure, Duke of Montausier, tutor to the Dauphin, son of Louis XIV and in whose favour the prince elevated the Barony of Montausier to a duchy-peerage in 1665.
  • Baptiste Roussy (1856-1926). Born in Le Tâtre, Mayor of Baignes, professor at the École pratique des hautes études and the Collège de France, author of Home Education for Women and Social Renovation which covered demographics, birth rate, and mortality, and the author of numerous works.[51]
  • Alfred Séguin, (1825–1900?) born in Baignes-Sainte-Radegonde, novelist anf playwright.

See also[edit]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ See Champniers, Catmerio in 1110.
  2. ^ At the beginning of the 21st century, the methods of identification have been modified by Law No. 2002-276 of 27 February 2002, the so-called "law of local democracy" and in particular Title V "census operations" allows, after a transitional period running from 2004 to 2008, the annual publication of the legal population of the different French administrative districts. For communes with a population greater than 10,000 inhabitants, a sample survey is conducted annually, the entire territory of these communes is taken into account at the end of the period of five years. The first "legal population" after 1999 under this new law came into force on 1 January 2009 and was based on the census of 2006.


  1. ^ Inhabitants of Charente (French)
  2. ^ Aureille in the Competition for Towns and Villages in Bloom Archived December 10, 2014, at the Wayback Machine. (French)
  3. ^ a b Google Maps
  4. ^ BRGM Map on Géoportail (French)
  5. ^ Infoterre Visualiser, BRGM website (French)
  6. ^ Notice on the Barbezieux page, BRGM, 1979, consulted on 30 November 2011 (French)
  7. ^ a b IGN map on Géoportail (French)
  8. ^ Paris, Nice, Strasbourg, Brest
  9. ^ Data from the Station at Cognac from 1981 to 2010 (French)
  10. ^ a b Paul-François-Étienne Cholet, (preface L.Clouzot), Cartulary of the Abbey of Saint-Étienne of Baigne, Niort, L.Clouzot, 1868, 382 p., p. CCXCI (Latin)
  11. ^ Jean Nanglard, Historical Pouillé (ecclesiastical register) of the Diocese of Angoulême, Vol. III, Angoulême, imprimerie Despujols, 1900, 582 p., p. 524 (French)
  12. ^ Gilles Ménage and Jean Picart, The Origins of the French Language, 1650, 848 pages, p. 104 (French)
  13. ^ Albert Dauzat and Charles Rostaing, Etymological Dictionary of Place names in France, Paris, Librairie Guénégaud, 1989, 738 p. (ISBN 2-85023-076-6), p. 46 (French)
  14. ^ a b History of the Angoumois - manuscript by Louis Desbrandes, 1816, conserved in the Municipal library of Angoulême (French)
  15. ^ Jules Martin-Buchey, Historical and Communal Geography of Charente, published by the author, Châteauneuf, 1914-1917 (reprint Bruno Sépulchre, Paris, 1984), 422 p., p. 66-67 (French)
  16. ^ Jacques Baudet and Jacques Chauveaud, Bulletins and memoirs, Archaeologocal and Historical Society of Charente, 1986, "Revolutionary Toponymy in Charente", p. 4, consulted on 12 December 2014 (French)
  17. ^ List of Mayors of France (French)
  18. ^ National Commission for Decentralised cooperation (French)
  19. ^ Colleges, Academic Inspectorate of Charente website, consulted on 20 March 2011 (French)
  20. ^ Directory of Schools, Academic Inspectorate of Charente website, consulted on 20 March 2011 (French)
  21. ^ Ministry of Culture, Mérimée IA00041203 Windmill 1IA00041204 Windmill 2 IA00041273 Windmill at Gadebor IA00041205 Windmill at Pilledoux IA00041202 Windmill at Guîtres IA00041191 Windmills (French)
  22. ^ Ministry of Culture, Mérimée IA00041198 Chateau on D100 (French)
  23. ^ Manor of the Abbot Michon, Tourist Office of Baignes website (French)
  24. ^ Ministry of Culture, Mérimée IA00041197 Chateau de Montausier on D100 (French)
  25. ^ Ministry of Culture, Mérimée IA00041271 House at Rue du Champ de Foire (French)
  26. ^ Ministry of Culture, Mérimée IA00041199 Trade shop at Rue du Champ de Foire (French)
  27. ^ Ministry of Culture, Mérimée IA00041200 War Memorial at Place de l'Eglise (French)
  28. ^ Ministry of Culture, Mérimée IA00041195 School on Grand Rue (French)
  29. ^ Ministry of Culture, Mérimée IA00041276 Farmhouse at Sainte-Radegonde IA00041275 Farmhouse at Mars IA00041274 Farmhouse at Guîtres (French)
  30. ^ Ministry of Culture, Mérimée IA00041272 Mansion at Gadebor (French)
  31. ^ Ministry of Culture, Mérimée IA00041196 Covered Market (French)
  32. ^ Ministry of Culture, Mérimée IA00041190 Houses and Farms (French)
  33. ^ Ministry of Culture, Mérimée IA00041289 Cemetery Cross on D132 (French)
  34. ^ Ministry of Culture, Mérimée IA00041201 Wayside Cross at D14/D132 (French)
  35. ^ Ministry of Culture, Mérimée PA00104579 IA00041192 Benedictine Abbey of Saint Etienne(French)
  36. ^ Ministry of Culture, Mérimée IA00041290 Saint Jacques Benedictine Priory (French)
  37. ^ Ministry of Culture, Mérimée IA00041206 Presbytery at Sainte-Radegonde (French)
  38. ^ Ministry of Culture, Mérimée IA00041194 Protestant Church (French)
  39. ^ Ministry of Culture, Mérimée IA00041193 Saint Radegonde Benedictine Priory (French)
  40. ^ Ministry of Culture, Palissy IM16000825 Furniture in the Priory (French)
  41. ^ Ministry of Culture, Palissy IM16000824 2 Bronze Bells (French)
  42. ^ Ministry of Culture, Palissy IM16000823 Bronze Bell (French)
  43. ^ Ministry of Culture, Palissy IM16000822 Flower Vase (French)
  44. ^ Ministry of Culture, Palissy IM16000821 Paten IM16000820 Paten 1819-1838 (French)
  45. ^ Ministry of Culture, Palissy IM16000819 Chalice (French)
  46. ^ Ministry of Culture, Palissy IM16000818 Tabernacle Veil (French)
  47. ^ Ministry of Culture, Palissy IM16000817 Pulpit (French)
  48. ^ Ministry of Culture, Palissy IM16000816 Secondary Altar and Tabernacle (French)
  49. ^ Ministry of Culture, Palissy IM16000815 Main Altar and Tabernacle (French)
  50. ^ Ministry of Culture, Palissy IM16000814 Stained glass window: Saint Radegund (French)
  51. ^ BNF, Gallica