Mont St Michel, Normandy

The island fortress of Mont St Michel

Firstly my thanks to Oska Siobhan photographer in Mont St Michel, for the use of her photograph as reference

We first visited Mont St Michel when our children were small, so nearly fifty years ago, and went back again much later, both times on holiday in Brittany, such a beautiful region of France

Steeped in history, high tide gave protection from would be assailants, whilst at low tide access was allowed to pilgrims to the abbey. The island remained unconquered during the hundred years war despite two sieges by the English. In fact the island’s spirited resistance inspired the French and Joan of Arc.. Louis XI recognised the benefits of the location and turned it into a prison. The abbey was used regularly as a prison during the Ancien Regime

In England we have a look-alike off the coast of Cornwall. In 1067 the Mont gace full support to William the Conqueror’s claim to the English throne. William rewarded this with lands on the other side of the channel, including a small island off the coast of Cornwall, on which the Norman monks built their priory, called St Michael’s Mount of Penzance

Mont St Michel also features on the Bayeux Tapestry. Scenes 16 and 17 show William and Harold there . Harold is rescuing knights from quicksand. This would have been during the period from Harold’s shipwreck on the coast of France, when he was entertained by William

My painting, as usual is in watercolour. Quite a lot of drawing in this one as you might expect

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