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A street in Balleroy
A street in Balleroy
Coat of arms of Balleroy
Coat of arms
Balleroy is located in France
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Country France
Region Normandy
Department Calvados
Arrondissement Bayeux
Canton Trévières
Intercommunality Balleroy Le Molay-Littry
 • Mayor (2014–2020) Gilbert Montaigne
Area1 4.23 km2 (1.63 sq mi)
Population (2010)2 901
 • Density 210/km2 (550/sq mi)
INSEE/Postal code 14035 / 14490
Elevation 49–131 m (161–430 ft)
(avg. 110 m or 360 ft)
1 French Land Register data, which excludes lakes, ponds, glaciers > 1 km² (0.386 sq mi or 247 acres) and river estuaries. 2 Population without double counting: residents of multiple communes (e.g., students and military personnel) only counted once.

Balleroy (About this sound French pronunciation ) is a French commune in the Calvados department in the Basse-Normandie region of north-western France.

The inhabitants of the commune are known as Biardais or Biardaises and Billards or Billardes.[1]


Balleroy is located some 16 km south-west of Bayeux and 21 km north-east of Saint-Lô. Access to the commune is by the D13 road from Cerisy-la-Forêt in the west which passes through the village and continues east to Lingèvres. The D28 road goes south from the village to Planquery. The commune is mainly farmland with the Château de Balleroy grounds just west of the village occupying a substantial land area.[2]

The river Drôme forms the western and north-western borders of the commune as it flows north-east to eventually join the ocean at Port-en-Bessin-Huppain. The Ruisseau de la Commune flows from the west to join the Drome in the commune. The Vesbire forms the south-eastern border of the commune as it flows south-west to join the Drôme.[2]

Neighbouring communes and villages[2]


Until 1521 the commune was the property of the lord of Aunay. The lordship of Balleroy was purchased by the Trextot family. Jean de Choisy, counselor, notary and secretary of the king, in turn bought the lordship of Balleroy as well as the lands of Cormolain, Montfiquet, and Vaubadon. He was the son of Jean de Choisy, intendant of Metz, knight, advisor to the king and the Duke of Orléans, Lord of Balleroy, Beaumont, Grandcamp, Léthanville, and Saint-Pierre and he founded the present chateau. He made the inhabitants near the chateau into vassals, forcing them to build their homes there.

In 1634 the Lord of Balleroy obtained the establishment of a weekly market (on Tuesday) and two fairs a year.

During the French revolutionary period of the National Convention (1792-1795), the commune was called Bal-sur-Drôme.[3]



Quarterly: at 1 and 4 Azure, a saltire engrailed of Or cantoned with four roundels the same; at 2 and 3, Argent, three hearts of Gules.

The blazon of quarters 2 and 3 (hearts) is that of the de La Cour de Balleroy family (extinct), the former Marquises of Balleroy.


File:Balleroy 02.JPG
Balleroy Town Hall
File:Balleroy 03.JPG
Balleroy School

Balleroy is part of the Community of communes Intercom Balleroy Le Molay-Littry which includes 22 communes and has its seat in Le Molay-Littry.

Balleroy was the seat of the former Canton of Balleroy. Since the 2015 French cantons reform, it is part of the canton of Trévières.

List of Successive Mayors[4]

From To Name Party Position
1850 M Villeroy[5]
~1970 ~1980 Pierre Blanchard
2001 2006 Yves Houel
2006[6] 2014 Denis Legrand
2014[7] 2020 Gilbert Montaigne

(Not all data is known)


Balleroy has twinning associations with:[8]


In 2010 the commune had 901 inhabitants. The evolution of the number of inhabitants is known from the population censuses conducted in the commune since 1793. From the 21st century, a census of communes with fewer than 10,000 inhabitants is held every five years, unlike larger communes that have a sample survey every year.[Note 1]

Population Change (See database)
1793 1800 1806 1821 1831 1836 1841 1846 1851
1,228 1,176 1,391 1,326 1,267 1,395 1,310 1,291 1,311
1856 1861 1866 1872 1876 1881 1886 1891 1896
1,244 1,286 1,284 1,220 1,114 1,124 1,110 1,103 1,085
1901 1906 1911 1921 1926 1931 1936 1946 1954
1,059 1,037 1,015 913 850 882 836 950 866
1962 1968 1975 1982 1990 1999 2006 2010 -
829 757 712 720 613 787 754 901 -

Sources : Ldh/EHESS/Cassini until 1962, INSEE database from 1968 (population without double counting and municipal population from 2006)

File:Balleroy 04.JPG
The War Memorial

Culture and heritage

The Chateau de Balleroy

Civil heritage

The commune has two sites that are registered as historical monuments:

Chateau of Balleroy Picture Gallery

Religious heritage

  • The Parish Church of Saint-Martin Grounds (1650)Logo monument historique - rouge sans texte.svg are registered as an historical monument.[11] The Church contains several items that are registered as historical objects:
    • A Framed Painting: The Alliance between Abimélek and Abraham (17th century)Logo monument historique - noir sans texte.svg[12]
    • A Framed Painting: The descendant of Abraham (17th century)Logo monument historique - noir sans texte.svg[13]
    • A Chalice with Paten (17th century)Logo monument historique - noir sans texte.svg[14]
    • A Statue: Virgin and child (17th century)Logo monument historique - noir sans texte.svg[15]
    • A Painting: The Annunciation (18th century)Logo monument historique - noir sans texte.svg[16]
    • An Episcopal Cross (18th century)Logo monument historique - noir sans texte.svg[17]
    • A Statue: Saint Martin (17th century)Logo monument historique - noir sans texte.svg[18]
Church of Saint Martin Picture Gallery

Activities and events

Each year a gathering of hot air balloons took place at the Château de Balleroy. This gathering took place for the last time in 1999 when Malcolm Forbes, the chateau's owner, would have celebrated his 80th birthday.

Since 2007 in the face of demand from the public, the festival was again held at the end of June but this no longer happens in the castle. This was held by the village festival committee who organized a small gathering. The festivities are now held above the village at the stadium.

Notable people linked to the commune

File:Albert de Balleroy.JPG
Count Albert de Balleroy
  • Louis Charles d'Hervilly (1756-1795), Count of Hervilly, knight, Marquis of Leschelles, married Marie Louise Augustine La Cour de Balleroy (1758-1830) on 7 October 1778 at the Château de Balleroy which was the Château for his wife's family.
  • Louis James, from an old Balleroy family (James from Lalande). He left to live in Auxerre (Yonne) where he founded the first modern department store in association with the local merchant Lesseré. As he was unmarried, he brought in a nephew (Achille) and niece (Hortense) to share in the very successful business: it was the time of "Bonheur des Dames" (Happiness of Women). The stores Soisson & James were transferred to Eurodif in 1970.
  • Count Albert de Balleroy (1828-1872), MP for Calvados,[19] painter specialising in hunting scenes, shared a studio on Rue Lavoisier in Paris with Édouard Manet[20]
  • Malcolm Forbes (1919-1990), American press billionaire, owner of the Chateau from 1970.

See also

External links

Notes and references


  1. At the beginning of the 21st century, the methods of identification have been modified by Law No. 2002-276 of 27 February 2002, the so-called "law of local democracy" and in particular Title V "census operations" allows, after a transitional period running from 2004 to 2008, the annual publication of the legal population of the different French administrative districts. For communes with a population greater than 10,000 inhabitants, a sample survey is conducted annually, the entire territory of these communes is taken into account at the end of the period of five years. The first "legal population" after 1999 under this new law came into force on 1 January 2009 and was based on the census of 2006.


  1. Inhabitants of Calvados (French)
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Google Maps
  3. Balleroy Communal Notice on the Cassini villages in the communes of today of the EHESS website (French)
  4. List of Mayors of France (French)
  5. Department of Calvados Annual, 1850, p.364
  6. The Mayor Denis Legrand wins election after the death of Yves Houel, Ouest-France (French)
  7. The new Mayor Gilbert Montaigne presents his team, Ouest-France, (French)
  8. National Commission for Decentralised cooperation (French)
  9. Ministry of Culture, Mérimée PA00111028 Chateau of Balleroy (French)Camera aabb.svg
  10. Ministry of Culture, Mérimée IA14003351 Chateau of Balleroy Park (French)
  11. Ministry of Culture, Mérimée PA00111029 Church Grounds (French)Camera aabb.svg
  12. Ministry of Culture, Palissy PM14001327 Framed Painting: The Alliance between Abimélek and Abraham (French)
  13. Ministry of Culture, Palissy PM14001326 Framed Painting: The descendant of Abraham (French)
  14. Ministry of Culture, Palissy PM14000036 Chalice with Paten (French)Camera aabb.svg
  15. Ministry of Culture, Palissy PM14000035 Statue: Virgin and child (French)Camera aabb.svg
  16. Ministry of Culture, Palissy PM14000034 Painting: The Annunciation (French)
  17. Ministry of Culture, Palissy PM14000033 Episcopal Cross (French)
  18. Ministry of Culture, Palissy PM14000032 Statue: Saint Martin (French)
  19. National Assembly website (French)
  20. Albert de Balleroy Archive website