Account of a Tour in Normandy, Volume 1 eBook

Dawson Turner
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 230 pages of information about Account of a Tour in Normandy, Volume 1.
commonly known by the name of Caesar’s camp, or even more generally in the country by that of “la Cite de Limes,” and in old writings, of “Civitas Limarum,” is situated upon the brink of the cliff, about two miles to the east of Dieppe, on the road leading to Eu, and still preserves in a state of perfection its ancient form and character; though necessarily reduced in the height of its vallum by the operation of time, and probably also diminished in its size by the gradual encroachments of the ocean.  Upon its shape, which is an irregular triangle, it may be well to make a preliminary observation, that this was necessarily prescribed by the scite; and that, however the Romans might commonly prefer a square outline for their temporary encampments, we have abundant proofs that they only adhered to this plan when it was perfectly conformable to the nature of the ground, but that when they fortified any commanding position, upon which a rectangular rampart could not be seated, their intrenchments were made to follow the sinuosities of the hill.  In the present instance the northern side, the longest, extending nearly five thousand feet, fronts the channel, and it required no other defence than was afforded by the perpendicular face of the cliff, here more than two hundred feet in height.  The western side, the second in length, and not greatly inferior to the first, after running about three thousand feet from the sea, in a tolerably straight line southward, suddenly bends to the east, and forms two semi-circles, of one of which the radius is turned from the camp, and of the other into it.  The third side is scarcely more than half the length of the others, and runs nearly straight from south to north, where it again unites with the cliff.  Of the two last-mentioned sides the first is difficult of access; from its position at the summit of a steep hill; but it is still protected by a vallum from thirty to forty feet high, and between the sea and the entrance nearest to it, a length of about three hundred yards, by a wide exterior ditch with other out-works, as well as by an inner fosse, faint traces of which only now remain.  Hence to the next and large entrance is a distance of about two thousand feet; and in this space the interior fosse is still very visible; but the great abruptness of the hill forbade an outer one.

You, who are not a stranger to the pleasures of botany, would have shared my delight at finding upon the perpendicular side of this entrance the beautiful Caucalis grandiflora, growing in great luxuriance upon almost bare chalk, and with its snowy flowers resembling, as you look down to it, the common species of Iberis of our gardens.  The Asperula cynanchica, and other plants peculiar to a chalky soil, are also found here in plenty, together with the Eryngium campestre, a vegetable of extreme rarity in England, but most abundant throughout the north of France. Papaver hybridum is likewise common in the neighboring corn fields round.

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Account of a Tour in Normandy, Volume 1 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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