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Étaples

Étaples or Étaples-sur-Mer (French: ; West Flemish: Stapel) is a commune in the Pas-de-Calais department in northern France. It is a fishing and leisure port on the Canche river.

Étaples-sur-Mer
Stapel
Moorings at the mouth of the Canche River in Étaples
Coat of arms
Location of Étaples-sur-Mer
Étaples-sur-Mer
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Étaples-sur-Mer
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Coordinates:50°31′07″N1°38′29″E /50.5186°N 1.6414°E /50.5186; 1.6414Coordinates: 50°31′07″N1°38′29″E /50.5186°N 1.6414°E /50.5186; 1.6414
CountryFrance
RegionHauts-de-France
DepartmentPas-de-Calais
ArrondissementMontreuil
CantonÉtaples
IntercommunalityCA Deux Baies en Montreuillois
Government
• Mayor(2020–2026)Philippe Fait
Area
1
12.95 km2 (5.00 sq mi)
Population
(Jan. 2018)
10,926
• Density840/km2 (2,200/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+01:00 (CET)
• Summer (DST)UTC+02:00 (CEST)
INSEE/Postal code
62318 /62630
Elevation2–78 m (6.6–255.9 ft)
(avg. 10 m or 33 ft)
1 French Land Register data, which excludes lakes, ponds, glaciers > 1 km2 (0.386 sq mi or 247 acres) and river estuaries.
A satirical caricature of Napoleon’s preparations for invasion by Robert Dighton, (1805)

Contents

Étaples takes its name from having been a medieval staple port (stapal in Old Dutch), from which word the Old French word Estaples derives. As a port it was part of the administrative and economic complex centred on Montreuil after access from the sea to that town was restricted by silting.

The site of modern Étaples lies on the ridge of dunes which once lay to seaward of a marsh formed off-shore from the chalk plateau of Artois. From the Canche northwards, the dunes tend to extend inland, all the way to the old chalk cliff. It lay just outside the southern edge of the mediaeval Boulonnais and some eighteen kilometres (11 miles) south of the geological region of that name.

The dunes were established as the sea level rose during the Quaternary and show signs of habitation during the Palaeolithic. They had therefore stabilized at something like their present form by 2000 BC. The dunes to the north-west of the town have revealed Iron Age, Gaulish material.

The Early-Medieval settlement

Étaples was one of a number of sites formerly identified as Quentovicus from which, as from Boulogne-sur-Mer, Roman ships prepared for the passage to Britannia. However, excavations coordinated by Dr David Hill of Manchester University between 1984 and 1991 uncovered the remains of a substantial settlement at Visemarest near the hamlet of La Calotterie. This site is located to the east of Étaples, further up the Canche valley, near the town of Montreuil-sur-Mer. This is now accepted as the site of Quentovic, although the finds from the excavations were located in the Musée de Quentovic in Étaples (at present indefinitely closed).

The Middle Ages

During the ninth century the coast was subject to raids and settlement by Norsemen. From their point of view, this off-shore site, protected by mud flats and marsh, was ideal as a base from which to conduct raids elsewhere, assemble the booty and ship it home.

In 1172, Matthew of Alsace, Count of Boulogne, built a fortress on the old Roman site. In 1193, King Philip Augustus made it the main port of his northern fleet after the southern end of the County of Boulogne (The Boulonnais) was added to the royal domain, forming the only direct access to this coast from royal lands in the hinterland.

Étaples was to suffer particularly during the Hundred Years War, owing to its proximity to the English landing places a little further north. Edward III of England burnt the port in 1346 as he was returning from the Battle of Crécy. In 1351 it was sacked by Roger Mortimer, 2nd Earl of March and burned in 1359 by Edward's son, John of Gaunt. There were sieges in 1378 and 1435 and it was burnt again in 1455 and 1546. To complete its disasters, the town had a severe outbreak of the plague in 1596.

The Renaissance onwards

On 3 November 1492, the castle was the scene of the signing of the Treaty of Étaples between Charles VIII of France and Henry VII of England. At the time of the Field of the Cloth of Gold, the diplomatic meeting near Calais between Francis I of France and Henry VIII of England, Francis stayed in the castle of Étaples. The meeting took place at Balinghem from 7 to 24 June 1520 and Francis slept at the castle on the 27th. Louis XIV was received there on 26 May 1637 and it was dismantled around 1641.

The Napoleonic period

Between 1803 and 1805, Napoleon gathered a large army in places along this coast, principally at Boulogne, so as to threaten an invasion of England. As part of this, for two years the Sixth Army Corps of Marshal Ney was stationed in and near to Étaples. The Emperor came several times to the town to review his troops. After the Battle of Trafalgar ended any hope of providing naval cover for an invasion, the troops moved on.

The 19th century and the influence of the railway

By the mid-19th century, the Bradshaw railway guide was describing Étaples as ‘a decayed fishing port, on a sandy plain’. The railway between Amiens and Boulogne had recently been built northwards along the coast and the station in the town was opened in 1848. Traffic was increased when the local railway company was amalgamated with the Chemins de fer du Nord in 1851 and the connection between Boulogne and Calais was completed in 1867, slowly reversing the decay. The line enabled the swift transport of fish inland as far as Paris, displacing the old Chasse marée system and requiring changes to working practices in order to accommodate the rail timetables. The town’s economy also benefitted from the influx of holiday visitors as what is now called the Opal Coast was developed. However, Étaples remained a working port with its fishing and associated trades such as boat building and rope making. The main holiday resort was developed 6 km (4 mi) away, south of the river, at what was then called Paris-Plage. The two banks of the Canche were linked by a road bridge in 1860 and the Étaples tramway was built from the town station to the resort in 1900. The big money flowed there and cheaper prices in the town attracted an international colony of artists between 1880 and 1914.

Sir John Lavery's oil painting of the war cemetery at Étaples

World War I

The railway, with its network of connections across the north of France, became of strategic importance during World War I, and it was added to temporarily during the period it lasted. Étaples became the principal depôt and transit camp for the British Expeditionary Force in France and also the point to which the wounded were transported.

Among the atrocities of the war, the hospitals there were bombed and machine-gunned from the air several times during May 1918. In one hospital alone, it was reported, 'One ward received a direct hit and was blown to pieces, six wards were reduced to ruins and three others were severely damaged. Sister Baines, four orderlies and eleven patients were killed outright, whilst two doctors, five sisters and many orderlies and patients were wounded.'

The military camp had a reputation for harshness and the treatment received by the men there led to the Étaples Mutiny in 1917. Étaples was also, from a later British scientific viewpoint, at the centre of the 1918 flu pandemic. The British virologist, John Oxford, and other researchers, have suggested that the Étaples troop staging camp was at the centre of the 1918 flu pandemic or at least home to a significant precursor virus to it. There was a mysterious respiratory infection at the military base during the winter of 1915-16.

Private A S Bullock recorded in his World War I memoir entering Étaples with his battalion just after the armistice. The camp, he noted, was 'almost infinitely expandable at very short notice', attributable to its organisation in groups of huts, each of which contained a headquarters, a cookhouse, and a store housing numerous additional tents and equipment. Bullock also describes the military hospital, whose thirty or so inmates were all 'murderers...at psychological war with one another'.

The nearby six-hectare Étaples Military Cemetery is resting place to 11,658 British and Allied soldiers from the conflict. When the war artist John Lavery depicted it in 1919, he showed a train in the background, running along the bank of the river below the sandy crest on which the cemetery was sited.

Following the war, the town was given recognition by the French state for the difficulty of accommodating up to 80,000 men at a time over four years (according to Bullock 'when full it could accommodate half a million men') and the damage done by the enemy bombing which their presence attracted, and it was awarded the Croix de guerre in 1920.

World War II

In World War II, Étaples suffered again from German bombing and the tramway was irreparably damaged. The town was then occupied by the Germans and during the Allied invasion was again bombarded, causing seventy civilian casualties and destroying or damaging a third of its houses. In 1949, the Minister of Defence came and added a palme (bar) to the Croix de guerre.

In 1807 the population was recorded as 1,507 and had grown to 4,692 by 1901. This had nearly doubled to 8,628 by 1962 and had grown by almost as much again to 11,714 in 2007.

The old rope walk (rope-making works)
  • The Rope Walk houses the tourist information office, the Museum of the Miniature (models etc.), the Maréis (all aspects of sea fishing).
  • Étaples Museum of Seafaring: mainly the history of étapleois fishing. In the former fish market.
  • The Canche Bay nature reserve: 505 hectares, mainly of natural dunes.
  • Hôtel Souquet-Marteau noted for its façade and roof on the main square. It was occupied in 1803-5 by Marshal Ney. Napoleon paid two visits.
  • The Delaporte Brewery was built in 1754 but largely destroyed by shelling in 1918. It was reconstructed in 1924 and is now out of use.
  • Étaples Military Cemetery

Étaples is twinned with:

Etaples art colony

  1. "Populations légales 2018". The National Institute of Statistics and Economic Studies. 28 December 2020.
  2. Carte Géologique
  3. Hill, D. et al. (1990)
  4. Town site
  5. Jean Froissart, Chronicles, Harmondsworth 1978 Bk 1
  6. Clifford J. Rogers, War cruel and sharp: English strategy under Edward III, 1327-60, Rochester NY 2000, pp.288, 402
  7. Baudelicque
  8. Bradshaw's illustrated travellers' hand book in France, London 1855, p.14.
  9. The through route was advertised by the Nord Company in the booklet Paris-Plage Le Touquet par Etaples (1902)
  10. E.J.King, The Knights of St John in the British Empire, London 1934, pp.200-1.
  11. Connor, Steve, "Flu epidemic traced to Great War transit camp"[dead link], The Guardian (UK), Saturday, 8 January 2000
  12. EU Research Profile on Dr. John Oxford Archived 2008-12-26 at the Wayback Machine
  13. Bullock, A S, Gloucestershire Between the Wars: A Memoir, The History Press, 2009, page 93
  14. Bullock, A S, Gloucestershire Between the Wars: A Memoir, The History Press, 2009, page 94-95
  15. Imperial War Museum (2013). "The Cemetery, Etaples, 1919 (Art.IWM ART 2884)". IWM Collections Search. Retrieved10 March 2013.
  16. Map-France.com
  17. Town web site
Wikimedia Commons has media related toÉtaples.

Étaples
Etaples Language Watch Edit Etaples or Etaples sur Mer French etapl West Flemish Stapel is a commune in the Pas de Calais department in northern France It is a fishing and leisure port on the Canche river Etaples sur Mer StapelCommuneMoorings at the mouth of the Canche River in EtaplesCoat of armsLocation of Etaples sur MerEtaples sur MerShow map of FranceEtaples sur MerShow map of Hauts de FranceCoordinates 50 31 07 N 1 38 29 E 50 5186 N 1 6414 E 50 5186 1 6414 Coordinates 50 31 07 N 1 38 29 E 50 5186 N 1 6414 E 50 5186 1 6414CountryFranceRegionHauts de FranceDepartmentPas de CalaisArrondissementMontreuilCantonEtaplesIntercommunalityCA Deux Baies en MontreuilloisGovernment Mayor 2020 2026 Philippe FaitArea112 95 km2 5 00 sq mi Population Jan 2018 1 10 926 Density840 km2 2 200 sq mi Time zoneUTC 01 00 CET Summer DST UTC 02 00 CEST INSEE Postal code62318 62630Elevation2 78 m 6 6 255 9 ft avg 10 m or 33 ft 1 French Land Register data which excludes lakes ponds glaciers gt 1 km2 0 386 sq mi or 247 acres and river estuaries A satirical caricature of Napoleon s preparations for invasion by Robert Dighton 1805 Contents 1 History 1 1 The Early Medieval settlement 1 2 The Middle Ages 1 3 The Renaissance onwards 1 4 The Napoleonic period 1 5 The 19th century and the influence of the railway 1 6 World War I 1 7 World War II 2 Demography 3 Places of interest 4 International relations 5 See also 6 References 7 External linksHistory EditEtaples takes its name from having been a medieval staple port stapal in Old Dutch from which word the Old French word Estaples derives As a port it was part of the administrative and economic complex centred on Montreuil after access from the sea to that town was restricted by silting The site of modern Etaples lies on the ridge of dunes which once lay to seaward of a marsh formed off shore from the chalk plateau of Artois From the Canche northwards the dunes tend to extend inland all the way to the old chalk cliff 2 It lay just outside the southern edge of the mediaeval Boulonnais and some eighteen kilometres 11 miles south of the geological region of that name The dunes were established as the sea level rose during the Quaternary and show signs of habitation during the Palaeolithic They had therefore stabilized at something like their present form by 2000 BC The dunes to the north west of the town have revealed Iron Age Gaulish material The Early Medieval settlement Edit Etaples was one of a number of sites formerly identified as Quentovicus from which as from Boulogne sur Mer Roman ships prepared for the passage to Britannia However excavations coordinated by Dr David Hill of Manchester University between 1984 and 1991 uncovered the remains of a substantial settlement at Visemarest near the hamlet of La Calotterie This site is located to the east of Etaples further up the Canche valley near the town of Montreuil sur Mer 3 This is now accepted as the site of Quentovic although the finds from the excavations were located in the Musee de Quentovic in Etaples at present indefinitely closed 4 The Middle Ages Edit During the ninth century the coast was subject to raids and settlement by Norsemen From their point of view this off shore site protected by mud flats and marsh was ideal as a base from which to conduct raids elsewhere assemble the booty and ship it home In 1172 Matthew of Alsace Count of Boulogne built a fortress on the old Roman site In 1193 King Philip Augustus made it the main port of his northern fleet after the southern end of the County of Boulogne The Boulonnais was added to the royal domain forming the only direct access to this coast from royal lands in the hinterland Etaples was to suffer particularly during the Hundred Years War owing to its proximity to the English landing places a little further north Edward III of England burnt the port in 1346 as he was returning from the Battle of Crecy 5 In 1351 it was sacked by Roger Mortimer 2nd Earl of March and burned in 1359 by Edward s son John of Gaunt 6 There were sieges in 1378 and 1435 and it was burnt again in 1455 and 1546 To complete its disasters the town had a severe outbreak of the plague in 1596 7 The Renaissance onwards Edit On 3 November 1492 the castle was the scene of the signing of the Treaty of Etaples between Charles VIII of France and Henry VII of England At the time of the Field of the Cloth of Gold the diplomatic meeting near Calais between Francis I of France and Henry VIII of England Francis stayed in the castle of Etaples The meeting took place at Balinghem from 7 to 24 June 1520 and Francis slept at the castle on the 27th Louis XIV was received there on 26 May 1637 and it was dismantled around 1641 The Napoleonic period Edit Between 1803 and 1805 Napoleon gathered a large army in places along this coast principally at Boulogne so as to threaten an invasion of England As part of this for two years the Sixth Army Corps of Marshal Ney was stationed in and near to Etaples The Emperor came several times to the town to review his troops 7 After the Battle of Trafalgar ended any hope of providing naval cover for an invasion the troops moved on The 19th century and the influence of the railway Edit By the mid 19th century the Bradshaw railway guide was describing Etaples as a decayed fishing port on a sandy plain 8 The railway between Amiens and Boulogne had recently been built northwards along the coast and the station in the town was opened in 1848 Traffic was increased when the local railway company was amalgamated with the Chemins de fer du Nord in 1851 and the connection between Boulogne and Calais was completed in 1867 slowly reversing the decay The line enabled the swift transport of fish inland as far as Paris displacing the old Chasse maree system and requiring changes to working practices in order to accommodate the rail timetables The town s economy also benefitted from the influx of holiday visitors as what is now called the Opal Coast was developed However Etaples remained a working port with its fishing and associated trades such as boat building and rope making The main holiday resort was developed 6 km 4 mi away south of the river at what was then called Paris Plage The two banks of the Canche were linked by a road bridge in 1860 and the Etaples tramway was built from the town station to the resort in 1900 9 The big money flowed there and cheaper prices in the town attracted an international colony of artists between 1880 and 1914 Sir John Lavery s oil painting of the war cemetery at Etaples World War I Edit The railway with its network of connections across the north of France became of strategic importance during World War I and it was added to temporarily during the period it lasted Etaples became the principal depot and transit camp for the British Expeditionary Force in France and also the point to which the wounded were transported Among the atrocities of the war the hospitals there were bombed and machine gunned from the air several times during May 1918 In one hospital alone it was reported One ward received a direct hit and was blown to pieces six wards were reduced to ruins and three others were severely damaged Sister Baines four orderlies and eleven patients were killed outright whilst two doctors five sisters and many orderlies and patients were wounded 10 The military camp had a reputation for harshness and the treatment received by the men there led to the Etaples Mutiny in 1917 Etaples was also from a later British scientific viewpoint at the centre of the 1918 flu pandemic 11 The British virologist John Oxford 12 and other researchers have suggested that the Etaples troop staging camp was at the centre of the 1918 flu pandemic or at least home to a significant precursor virus to it There was a mysterious respiratory infection at the military base during the winter of 1915 16 11 Private A S Bullock recorded in his World War I memoir entering Etaples with his battalion just after the armistice The camp he noted was almost infinitely expandable at very short notice attributable to its organisation in groups of huts each of which contained a headquarters a cookhouse and a store housing numerous additional tents and equipment 13 Bullock also describes the military hospital whose thirty or so inmates were all murderers at psychological war with one another 14 The nearby six hectare Etaples Military Cemetery is resting place to 11 658 British and Allied soldiers from the conflict When the war artist John Lavery depicted it in 1919 he showed a train in the background running along the bank of the river below the sandy crest on which the cemetery was sited 15 Following the war the town was given recognition by the French state for the difficulty of accommodating up to 80 000 men at a time over four years according to Bullock when full it could accommodate half a million men 13 and the damage done by the enemy bombing which their presence attracted and it was awarded the Croix de guerre in 1920 7 World War II Edit In World War II Etaples suffered again from German bombing and the tramway was irreparably damaged The town was then occupied by the Germans and during the Allied invasion was again bombarded causing seventy civilian casualties and destroying or damaging a third of its houses In 1949 the Minister of Defence came and added a palme bar to the Croix de guerre 7 Demography EditIn 1807 the population was recorded as 1 507 and had grown to 4 692 by 1901 This had nearly doubled to 8 628 by 1962 and had grown by almost as much again to 11 714 in 2007 16 Places of interest Edit The old rope walk rope making works The Rope Walk houses the tourist information office the Museum of the Miniature models etc the Mareis all aspects of sea fishing Etaples Museum of Seafaring mainly the history of etapleois fishing In the former fish market The Canche Bay nature reserve 505 hectares mainly of natural dunes 17 Hotel Souquet Marteau noted for its facade and roof on the main square It was occupied in 1803 5 by Marshal Ney Napoleon paid two visits The Delaporte Brewery was built in 1754 but largely destroyed by shelling in 1918 It was reconstructed in 1924 and is now out of use Etaples Military CemeteryInternational relations EditSee also List of twin towns and sister cities in France Etaples is twinned with Huckeswagen Germany since 29 July 1972 Folkestone United Kingdom since August 2009See also EditEtaples art colonyReferences Edit Populations legales 2018 The National Institute of Statistics and Economic Studies 28 December 2020 Carte Geologique Hill D et al 1990 Town site Jean Froissart Chronicles Harmondsworth 1978 Bk 1 Clifford J Rogers War cruel and sharp English strategy under Edward III 1327 60 Rochester NY 2000 pp 288 402 a b c d Baudelicque Bradshaw s illustrated travellers hand book in France London 1855 p 14 The through route was advertised by the Nord Company in the booklet Paris Plage Le Touquet par Etaples 1902 E J King The Knights of St John in the British Empire London 1934 pp 200 1 a b Connor Steve Flu epidemic traced to Great War transit camp dead link The Guardian UK Saturday 8 January 2000 EU Research Profile on Dr John Oxford Archived 2008 12 26 at the Wayback Machine a b Bullock A S Gloucestershire Between the Wars A Memoir The History Press 2009 page 93 Bullock A S Gloucestershire Between the Wars A Memoir The History Press 2009 page 94 95 Imperial War Museum 2013 The Cemetery Etaples 1919 Art IWM ART 2884 IWM Collections Search Retrieved 10 March 2013 Map France com Town web site INSEE commune file Ministry of Culture database anon Carte Geologique de la France a l echelle du millionieme 6th edn BRGM 2003 Hill D et al 1990 Quentovic defined Antiquity 64 no 242 Baudelicque P L Histoire de la Cite des Pecheurs Etaples Tourism web site Bellew G Britain s Kings and Queens 63 Reigns in 1100 Years Pitkin Pictorials 1966 Volkmann J C Bien Connaitre les Genealogies des Rois de France Editions Jean Paul Gisserot 1997 External links EditWikimedia Commons has media related to Etaples The Etaples Mutiny of 1917 Etaples Military Cemetery on the website Remembrance Trails of the Great War in Northern France Retrieved from https en wikipedia org w index php title Etaples amp oldid 1038368704, wikipedia, wiki, book,

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