Vastérival Beach, in Varengeville-sur-Mer
|Intercommunality||CA Région Dieppoise|
|• Mayor (2001–2008)||Christian Blanckaert|
|10.75 km2 (4.15 sq mi)|
|• Density||94/km2 (240/sq mi)|
|Time zone||UTC+01:00 (CET)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC+02:00 (CEST)|
|Elevation||0–102 m (0–335 ft) |
(avg. 90 m or 300 ft)
|1 French Land Register data, which excludes lakes, ponds, glaciers > 1 km2 (0.386 sq mi or 247 acres) and river estuaries.|
A forestry and farming commune situated by the coast of the English Channel and in the Pays de Caux, some 5 miles (8.0 km) west of Dieppe at the junction of the D27, D75 and the D123 roads. The commune has access to the pebble beach by means of a gap in the huge chalk cliffs.
|The arms of Varengeville-sur-Mer are blazoned :|
Gules, a mullet of 8 argent pierced azure, on a chief argent a lion passant gules.
|From the year 1962 on: No double counting—residents of multiple communes (e.g. students and military personnel) are counted only once.|
Places of interest
- The manorhouse known as the Manoir d'Ango, built between 1530 and 1545 by Jean Ango,
- The church of St. Valery, dating from the thirteenth century, sits atop the cliffs and is at risk of falling into the sea if the cliff were to collapse in any way. The churchyard holds the tomb of the Cubist artist Georges Braque, topped by a mosaic of a white dove. Inside the church is a stained glass window by Braque depicting the Tree of Jesse.
- The chapel of St. Dominique, on the road from Varengeville to Dieppe, with more stained glass windows by Braque.
- Two chateaus, at Saint-Aubin and Quesnot.
- The sixteenth century hunting lodge of King Francis I.
- The cemetery, by the sea, with a sixteenth-century sandstone cross and containing the tombs of some famous Frenchmen: the writer Georges de Porto-Riche, composer Albert Roussel, Georges Braque and the architect, Paul Nelson.
- The Bois des Moutiers which is a 12-hectare park conceived by Guillaume Mallet in 1898, containing a house designed by the architect Sir Edwin Lutyens and gardens designed by Miss Gertrude Jekyll. The park contains 'Shamrock', the biggest collection of hortensias in the world, with more than 1000 varieties. This collection has been assembled by the ‘Conservatoire français des collections végétales spécialisées’ (CCVS). The park is open to visitors.
- The ‘Maison du Bois des Moutiers’, near the church, was built for Guillaume Mallet from 1898. It was one of Lutyens' first commissions. A Burne-Jones tapestry hangs in the stairwell, its designs copied from Renaissance cloth in William Morris's studio. The house is open to visitors.
- Georges Braque (1883–1963), artist, is buried in the cemetery.
- Albert Roussel (1869–1937), composer, is buried in the cemetery.
- Georges de Porto-Riche (1849–1930), writer, is buried in the cemetery.
- Jean-Francis Auburtin (1866–1930), artist, died here.
- Paul Nelson (1895–1979), architect, is buried in the cemetery
- Jean Ango, (1480–1551), shipping magnate and navigator, lived here.
- Claude Monet (1840–1926), who spent some time painting in Varengeville.
Naomi Mitchison, in her autobiographic book "You may well ask", relates that in the 1920s and 1930 she and her family, along with other families of their social circle in London, used to have vacations in Varengeville: "At the small village of Varengeville, on top of the cliffs a few miles west of Dieppe, the families with children lived in fairly basic chalets which were fine for us. We ate at the hotel and went down a steep path to the sand and rather chilly swimming, and tremendously enjoyed each other's company".
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