Saint-Cyr-de-Salerne is a French commune in the département Eure in the region Haute-Normandie.
Saint-Cyr-de-Salerne lies in the southeast of the Lieuvin between Hecmanville in the south and Saint-Pierre-de-Salerne in the north, 12 kilometres (7.46 miles) northeast of Bernay und 3,9 kilometres (2.42 miles) southwest of Brionne.
The commune was known as “Salernia” (in 1106), “Sanctus Ciriens de Salerna” (in 1216) and “Sanctus Cyriens de Salerna” (in 1293). The parish Saint-Cyr-de-Salerne belonged to the Abbey Saint-Pierre de Préaux in Les Préaux.
The cartulary of the Abbey Saint-Pierre de Préaux is a good source for informations about the commune, but it calls the two communes, Saint-Cyr-de-Salerne and Saint-Pierre-de-Salerne, often “Salerne” (or Salernia), without making a difference. In 1106 Robert I. de Beaumont (1050-1118), comte de Meulan passed the land he owned in “Salerne” on to the abbey.
In the year 1235 the abbot of Bec and der prior of Beaumont-le-Roger exchanged their rights on the tithe of Saint-Pierre and Saint-Cyr-de-Salerne with the abbot of Saint-Pierre de Préaux against the rights on the tithe of Le Tremblay-Omonville and La Neuville-du-Bosc.
In the year 1293 the seigneur of Harcourt, Jean II. d’Harcourt, passed the rights on all forests of “Salerne” on to the abbey Saint-Pierre de Préaux.
From 1556 until the French Revolution (1789-1799) the fief Saint-Cyr-de-Salerne belonged to the family Bellemare. Georges Cyr Antoine de Bellemare de Saint-Cyr participated in the American Revolutionary War (1775-1783).
In 1793 672 people were living in the commune, in 1806 it had 759 inhabitants, since then the population decreased until 1936 (184 inhabitants). In 2006 Saint-Cyr-de-Salerne had 222 residents.
Culture and Sights
The church Saint-Cyr-et-Sainte-Julitte was built in the 15th century and parts of the façade were reconstructed with white stones in the 16th century. The timber porch of the church was inscribed in the additional register of the “Monuments historiques” (historical monuments) in 1961 and the ensemble of church (with porch), cemetery and old yew trees is classified as “site classé” (natural monument).
The timber framed rectory was built in the 19th century. Nowadays it’s used as a town hall.
The “Maison de la charité” (house of charity) is also a timber framed house of the 19th century. It serves the “brotherhood of charity of Saint-Cyr” (“Confrérie de Charité“) since 1864 as a storehouse for their candles, costumes and banners. The Confréries de Charité are Norman associations. Most of them can be found in the département Eure. The brotherhoods consist of well-respected parishioners, their task is to organise burials of poor parishioners and the like. The different brotherhoods can be distinguished by their procession banners. The brotherhood of charity of Saint-Cyr is dedicated to the Saint Cyricus of Tarsus († 304). In 1864 the brotherhood of Saint-Cyr-de-Salerne had 12 members, today it still has 8 members.
Most of the Saint Cyriens are farmers. The son in law of our neighbour is a farmer in Saint-Cyr-de-Salerne and maybe he is the mayor of the commune as well, or a relative of the mayor. Anyways, the cows on the field of our neighbour belong to him.
Ernest Poret Blosseville (1799-1886): Dictionnaire topographique de la France. Dictionnaire topographique du département de l’Eure : comprenant les noms de lieu anciens et modernes. Printed by Impr. Nationale in Paris 1877, pages:192+208+270f on Gallica (French)
Auguste Le Prevost, Léopold Delisle, Louis Paulin Passy, Andrew Dickson White:Société d’agriculture des belles-lettres, sciences et arts de L’Eure, volume 3. Mémoires et notes de M. Auguste Le Prevost pour servir à l’histoire du département de l’Eure. Printed in Évreux 1869, pages:96-99, on archive.org (French)
Anatole Caresme Charpillon: Dictionnaire historique de toutes les communes du département de l’Eure: histoire, géographie, statistique, volume 2. Printed by Delcroix in Les Andelys 1879, pages:765f in archive.org (French)