The village of La Bouille is
delightfully situated at the foot of a wooded hillside on the
south bank of the River Seine. It is about 12 miles from Rouen
and 40 miles from Le Havre. La Bouille is a quiet residential
village and picturesque riverside resort.
The population of La Bouille is about 1000. Like
Whitchurch, there is an old part, with buildings dating from the
century, and a new residential estate built in the last 30
years. La Bouille, however, has managed to keep a wide
range of shops including a baker, grocer, newsagent, hairdresser
plus antique and craft shops. There are also a couple of
hotels and several restaurants and cafes. Day trippers from the
city of Rouen help to support these establishments.
References to La Bouille
in the literature date back to the early 13th century when, in
1203, King John of England, also Duke of Normandy, defeated his
nephew Arthur at Rouen. Arthur’s body was recovered from
the Seine at La Bouille and buried at the site of the present
the features of the village is Le Bac, or ferry, connecting La
Bouille to Sahurs on the other side of the river. Up to
1925, Le Bac took the form of a 30 foot long shallow-draft boat
propelled by two men using 18 foot oars in the standing
position. There were also two rowing boats for foot
passengers, each operated by a single oarsman. A single ferry,
capable of carrying lorries and towed by a motor vessel,
replaced these boats. The current Bac has its own engines
and dates from 1988.
La Bouille has many
artistic connections. In literature, the list is headed by
Hector Malot (1830-1907), writer of children’s stories.
His novel, Sans Famille, enjoyed enormous success in France and
abroad. There is a memorial bust of him in the village.
Over the years, La Bouille’s picturesque setting has been has
been the focus of many famous painters, including Gaugin and
Turner. The latter published sketches of the village in
his Great Rivers of Europe project.
La Bouille Website Link: