Château de la Paluelle

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Operation Lüttich Chateau de la Paluelle at the turn of the 20th century The Château de la Paluelle is a large estate manor located in the town of Saint-James, in Normandy in north-western France. Built in as early as 11th century during the reign of William the Conqueror, the Château is a listed Monument historique of the French Republic.[1]

The Château de la Paluelle is privately owned and closed to the public. Its grounds are the site of the the annual competitive level horse jumping competition.[2] [3]


While the date of the construction of the chateau has not been authenticated, it was in existence by 1389 and known as Le Manoir de Granges. Around 1530, it came into the possession of the La Paluelle family through a dowry, and the chateau has carried the family’s moniker ever since.[4] [5]

During the latter half of the Hundred Years' War the immediate area saw heavy military activity between the opposing English and French forces. The Battle of St. James took place between February 27 and March 6, 1426 resulting in English victory[6] and during the chaotic retreat, hundreds of french soldiers drowned trying to cross the flooded Bouvron river valley below the chateau.[7] [8]

In 1638, the Chateau de la Paluelle was elevated to Baron through the royal letters patent to Jean de La Paluelle.[9] [10]

During the French Revolution the area was the site of heavy clashes between the Republican forces and the Chouan. The chateau’s 17th century chapel was destroyed during this period, and today only the foundation wall of the chapel remains.[11]

World War II

Following allied landing on Normandy landings, Saint-James was liberated on August 1, 1944. By August 4, George S. Patton established the United States Army Central headquarters at the Chateau de la Paluelle. On August 6th, the meeting of the Chiefs of Staff was held at the chateau. It was during this time that the strategy to repel the Operation Lüttich|German counter-attack at Mortain was developed.[12] [13]

General Phillipe Leclerc's 2nd Armored Division was attached to General Patton’s Third Army, and set up the encampment on the chateau grounds as well. [14] [15]


The oldest part of the chateau, called the "Petit château" or "Le Manoir", features the original round tower, windows and overhanging machicolations dating from the Louis XI of France.[16]

The main building, flanked by the stables and service buildings, was completed in its current form between 1615 and 1635, and the Mansard roof were added sometime after 1650. Interestingly, the structure retains a fully preserved and functional XVII century kitchen.[16] The front courtyard is enclosed by granite Baluster with pilasters locally known as “abbot's calves”. Behind the chateau, a beautiful park features a large fountain and the double spiral staircase covering a XVI century grotto.

The facades and roofs of the chateau and its outbuildings, the main courtyard terrace, and its park (ie A 1232 to 1234) are listed as historical monuments of the French Republic by the decree of January 30, 1967.[17]


  4. "Château de La Paluelle — Wikimanche".
  6. "Le50enligneBIS".
  7. Burne, Alfred H. (June 30, 2014). "The Agincourt War: A Military History of the Hundred Years War from 1369 to 1453". Frontline Books – via Google Books.
  8. Burne, Alfred (2014) [1956]. The Agincourt War. Foreword by Anne Curry. London: Frontline Books. ISBN 978-1-84832-765-8. page 220
  9. Michel Hébert et André Gervaise, Châteaux et Manoirs de la Manche, Condé-sur-Noireau, Éditions Charles Corlet, 2003 (ISBN 978-2-847-06143-7), p. 108.
  10. "Le50enligneBIS".
  11. Chanoine Victor Ménard, Religious, civil and military history of Saint-James de Beuvron, from its foundation to the present day, Alfred Perrin printing press, 1897
  12. "70ème anniversaire du Débarquement : le Guide pratique".
  13. Lemoine, Hélène (July 11, 2010). "Entre Les Dents, L'Espoir". – via Google Books.
  14. "SAINT-JAMES (Manche)". La VOIE de la 2e DB LECLERC.
  15. "Patton's Third Army Living Historians - Patton's Third Army Band".
  16. 16.0 16.1
  17. "Château de la Paluelle".

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