Sheela-na-Gig aka Jeanne Rathbone

Trip to France using air B&B for accommodation

Posted in Air B&B funky house, Montreuil, St Erkembode, St Omer Cathedral by sheelanagigcomedienne on August 23, 2013

We had a short break in France using up a car ferry ticket from last year when we cancelled our holiday in St Simeon because I was unwell. Barbara organised the accomodation through Air B&B which she and Aengus use. The place was designed by the owner who is an architect and it is their second home as they reside in Paris . I was in the village of Tattinghem near St. Omer. It was delightful and very modern and bright so Fingal decided he would come along too!

Black and white with a dash of purple and lime!!

Hol house living area

The Entrance. The key was left under the planter by their neighbour.



Barbara in garden

We went to Montreuil-Sur-Mer which is an old favourite from when we did the day trips for supermarket/drink shopping.

It is no longer sur mer, but sea or no sea, it is tres charmant. Montreuil is a “ville fleurie”, which means it does not stint on the window-boxes. Flowers cascaded over the walls lining the approach to the town. Wisteria clung to the old stone balconies. Petunias ran riot in front of the town hall. Every roundabout was a work of art.


The charming walled town of Montreuil is a perfect destination for a weekend away with its beautiful old houses and churches, its imposing ramparts and its cobbled streets – not to mention a good selection of restaurants and hotels.  In fact its origins lie in Roman times when the sea ran up the estuary of the Canche as far as Montreuil.  The first ramparts were built in the 9th Century by the Count of Ponthieu and in the 10th Century Montreuil rose to importance as the main sea port of the Capétiens.  Like Arras, Montreuil was famous for its cloth industry from the 11th to the 13th centuries.  The eight churches drew pilgrims from far and wide thanks to the relics of saints they held.  The population grew to over 10,000 people and the royal castle of which only two towers remain today, was built in 1186, a charter having been granted by Philip Auguste.   As the estuary silted up, the port fell silent and when finally the English took possession of the town, Montreuil emerged from the Hundred Years’ War in ruins.  It was to suffer further when it was plundered by Henry XVIII of England and Charles V of Spain who laid siege but were rebuffed by the medieval walls.  It fared less well in another siege in 1537 and finally succumbed to the plague in 1596.

View from our cafe on

Wild flowers on the grassy ramparts.

wild flowers

Pretty blue door and window shutters.The clock seemed very special in the 16th Century when Copernicus and Galileo challenged the long held belief that the earth was the centre of the universe, and that the sun and the stars all revolved around the earth. This idea dated back to the Greek astromomer Ptolemy. The Church denounced any scientist who questioned this notion, fearing that it cast doubt about their basic teachings about God and creation..

There is a shrine toSt Erkembode, an Irish monk who became  bishop. It is  visited by depressive people and the parents of crippled children. To aid the recovery of their children, parents leave tiny pairs of shoes on the saint’s tomb, which are periodically cleared away by Roman Catholic cathedral authorities. Apparently, he was a great walker. He walked around his vast bishopric in search of land to buy for to give to the poor . He died in 723 crippled and almost paralysed.

St Omer Cathedral

St. Omer Cathedral

St. Omer Cathedral

st omer organ

children's shoes at St Erkembode shrine

st erkembode shoes


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