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June 12, 2023

Amazing Photos of the Eschif, a Toll Bridge Which Was Built in Périgueux, France in 1347

The Eschif in Périgueux, France was a lookout for a toll bridge. It’s an oak timber frame building with wattle and daub infill built in 1347.

The Eschif is located in Périgord, in the center of the Dordogne department, in Périgueux. It is a building located at 9 boulevard Georges-Saumande, at the corner of rue Tourville, in the protected area, on the edge of the Isle, a hundred meters south-east of the Saint-Front cathedral.

Although it has never been used as a mill, the Eschif is wrongly called “Old mill” or “mill of the Chapter” or even “mill of Saint-Front.” The confusion comes from the nearby mill of Saint-Front which was in the middle of the Isle and which was demolished in 1860.

A lookout post which in the Middle Ages would allow the surveillance of the Tournepiche bridge, the Eschif was built in 1347 on the ramparts of Puy-Saint-Front (the medieval city corresponding to the historic center of Périgueux) at the foot of which the Isle s was flowing. It is built on the site of a house in Creyschat, destroyed the previous year following a flood of the Isle.

In 1860, the ramparts were destroyed to allow the construction of the imperial road 21 from Paris to Barèges (the current boulevard Georges Saumande).

In 1929, the Eschif was listed as a historical monument under the (erroneous) name of the Saint-Front mill. This registration was canceled in 1977 and replaced by a classification as historical monuments. It has belonged to the city of Périgueux since 1976.

The Eschif has retained its half-timbering and cob. The building seems to hold miraculously on a thin support to which it is connected by struts on its two longitudinal facades. These are often wooden works that were temporarily established if time or resources were lacking to raise towers.


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