At less than a mile from Bernay, in the opposite direction, is another church, called Notre Dame de la Couture, a name borrowed from the property on which it stands. We were induced to visit it, by the representation of different persons in the town, who had noticed our architectural propensities. Some assured us that “C’est une belle piece;” others that “C’est une piece qui n’est pas vilaine;” and all concurred in praising it, though some only for the reason that “les processions vont tout autour du choeur.”—We found nothing to repay the trouble of the walk.
Bernay contains upwards of six thousand inhabitants, the greater part of whom are engaged in manufacturing coarse woollen and cotton cloths; and the manufactures flourish, the goods made being principally for home consumption. It is the chief place of the arrondissement, and the residence of a sub-prefect.—Most of the houses are like those at Rouen, merely wooden frames filled with mortar, which, in several instances, is faced with small bricks and flints, disposed in fanciful patterns: here and there the beams are carved with a variety of grotesque figures. The lower story of all those in the high street retires, leaving room for a wooden colonnade, which shelters the passenger, though it is entirely destitute of all architectural beauty. The head-dress of the females at Bernay is peculiar, and so very archaic, that our chamber-maid at the inn appeared to deserve a sketch, full as much as any monumental effigy.