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Creully-sur-Seulles (Municipality, Calvados, France)

Last modified: 2021-07-01 by ivan sache
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Flag of Creully-sur-Seules - Image by Olivier Touzeau, 21 March 2021

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Presentation of Creully-sur-Seulles

The municipality of Creully-sur-Seulles (2,325 inhabitants in 2016; 1,871 ha) was established on 1 January 2017 as the merger of the former municipalities of Creully (1,693 inh.; 856 ha), Saint-Gabriel-Brécy (371 inh.; 744 ha) and Villiers-le-Sec (304 inh.; 271 ha).

Ivan Sache, 6 January 2019

Flag of Creully-sur-Seulles

The flag of Creully-sur-Seulles (photo, photo) is white with the municipal logo.

Olivier Touzeau, 21 March 2021



Flag of Creully - Image by Arnaud Leroy, 5 September 2005

Creully is located 20 km north-west of Caen, 12 km east of Bayeux and 10 km south of the Channel.

The name of Creully might be related to the Anglo-Saxon word churl, "a peasant". Creully was the seat of a barony, whose origin may be tracked back to the formation of Normandy in the 10th century. The first Baron of Creully claimed to be a descendant of Rollo, the Norwegian chief made Count of Normandy by King of France Charles III the Simple in 911 (treaty of Saint-Clair-sur-Epte). When Rollo shared his new domain among his brothers-in-arms, Richard, often presented as his second son or his nephew, was given domains in Cotentin and Bessin.
Richard's second son was Haimon the Toothy, lord of Creully, Evrecy, Mézy and Thorigny, who probably built the early fortress of Creully near 1040. A very powerful lord, Haimonand joined the revolt against William the Bastard, arguiing that the natural son of Duke Robert the Devil could not be Duke of Normandy. Subsequently rallied yo William, Haimon helped him in his struggle against King of France Henry I (c. 1008-1060, king in 1031). In 1046, during of the battle of Val des Dunes, fought near Argences in the south-west of Caen, Haimon hit Henri y and and knocked him over from his horse. A French knight who had recognized Haimon killed him one year later to avenge his king.
Haimon was succeeded by his son Robert Fitz Haimon, who founded the St. Gabriel's priory. A brilliant warlord, Robert served William the Conqueror in the battles against Henry I, for instance in Mortemer in 1054. He took part to the Hastings expedition in 1066 and commanded the army sent by William to subject Wales. After his victorious campaigns, Robert owned big domains both in Normandy and Britain. He went to the Holuy Land with Robert Courte-Heuse, William's elder son; back to Normandy, he attempted to solve the conflict between Robert and his brother Henry, who had been crowned King of England as Henry I. Hit on the head by an arrow during the siege of Falaise, Fitz Haimon lost part of his intellectual abilities. He died in England and was buried in the monastery of Tewkesbury.

In 1107, the domain of Creully was transfered to Robert of Gloucester, the natural son of Henry I and Sybille Corbet. Rebuilt and fortified, the castle was fiercely disputed during the Hundred Years' War between the French and the English, who kept it from 1417 to 1450. The barony of Creully belonged to the Sillans family from 1508 to 1681, when it was purchased by Colbert (1619-1683), Louis XIV's Minister of Finance.
After the Normandy landing in June 1944, the castle was used by the BBC as its headquarters; the first programs after the landing were transmitted from the 16th century cylindric tower that dominates the walls of the castle. The municipality of Creully purchased the castle in 1946.

Creully was liberated on 6 June 1944 by the Royal Winnipeg Rifles. The Canadian soldiers moved up to the bridge on the river Seulles, north of Creully, strongly defended by the Germans. The other bridge, east of Creully, was even more defended. However, the D company was able to seize and cross the bridge, an act for which Lieutenant Jack Mitchell was awarded the Military Cross.
The castle of Creullet was built in Creully in the 15th-18th centuries. A legend says that it was built by young Louis XIV for a miss Le Héricy he loved much; unfortunately, the last miss Le Héricy died years before Louis XIV could fall in love with her. The plans of the castle and of the gardens are credited to Mansard and Lenôtre, respectively, but there is no evidence of this but stylistic. After the liberation of the village, Field Marshal Bernard Law Montgomery set up his headquarters on 8 June for two weeks in June 1944. His sleeping caravan was kept under the trees to the right. The front lines were two miles to the left. On 12 June King George V, Prime Minister Winston Churchill and Minister of War Marshal Smutz visited him. On 14 June, General de Gaulle met Montgomery in Creullet. Upon the King's return to London the British press described the castle location so accurately that the Germans started shelling the area forcing Montgomery to abandon the site and move to Blay near Bayeux.
[Chez nous à Creully]

The flag of Creully is a banner of the municipal arms, "Argent three lions rampant gules", which were the arms of the Barons de Creully, known since the 12th century, and said to date back at least to 1046.

Arnaud Leroy, 5 September 2005