Vignacourt has a long-standing reputation as a tradesmen village. This is explained by differents facts : In the past, many people were merchants : merchants of floax, hats, cattle, hawkers...
Afterward fairs and markets had lot of success and were crowded and they had a regional scope. Fairs were developed with the support of the local lords.
Today, the number of shopkeepers and craftsmem remains high and diversified and the flea market wins a great success every year, in the month of May.
On the sections below, you will find information about:
The vines village
The etymology of Vignacourt would come from wines-growing or roman origin, but the first hypothesis seems the most credible.
Many variations of writing Vignacourt name were recorded over the centuries such as Wignacourt, Vinarcort, Vinicurtis, Vinaecurtis, Vinarcurtis (more than 10 ways). One of the plausible meanings come from latin: "Vinar" for vines country and "curte, curtis" for courtyard, closed domain. Currently, in the village there are 2 streets with the vines name: "way under the vines" and "way of vines". Formerly, there were still over like "above the vines", "under the vines"...
Historians having worked about the Middle Ages period specifies that "many vineyards were planted around Amiens and the harvest was important". This is difficult to believe because the weather is never sunny all year in northern France. It wasn't an exceptional wine but at that time the first preoccupation was the food. The wine was used for sauces preparation, to add more tasty (spice).
The activity was as important as the traditional cultivating but the cultivation of wines deteriorated after the most rigorous winter of 1323.
The grapevine in Vignacourt
A roman leader
According to initial research, the name could come from Roman leader. There was little element to date, can confirm this possibility.
The coat of arms
The knights paticipating in the first Crusades needed to differentiate themselves: it was the emergence of shields and coat of arms. They followed some criterias, such as the choice of color according to the region of origin.
The villages coat of arms will appear much later. The coat of arms of vignacourt is surmounted by a crown with 3 towers. The template with red lily flowers on a gray background is also on Simon Wignacourt's coat of arms.
The village's coat of arms
The wignacourt's coat of arms
The street of "millers" and street of "the mill of stone" confirms the existence in the past from more windmills.
In the street of the millers, there were 2 mills where people could come grind their harvest. The mills no longer exist today. One was burned as evidenced by the name assigned" the road of burned windmill", others have disappeared during the war, as in some villages in the region.
Authentic old windmill of Vignacourt disappeared.
The Cassini map
The Cassini's map is the first drawing of the France’s Kingdom. The measures were done 30 years before the French revolution by César-François Cassini and Jean-Dominique Cassini. We can discover the churches, mills, forests and the Roman way Brunehaut (in french : “Chaussée Brunehaut”).
For Vignacourt, you can see the ancient writing of : Vinacourt on the map, the church symbolized by the cross, one windmill, and the Roman way passing through the forest.
Ancient roman way Brunehaut crossing vignacourt forest on the Cassini map.
The Roman Way
Today, some sections of this path are still visible in our village but in the direction of St-Vaast village (in going to Amiens direction)…
The origin of the roman way : 'Brunehaut" date back from Middle Ages. Its name comes from some "Brune al" (the stone used on this way), for others the legend of Queen Bruneaut, or the name of a king: Brunhild.
The cross on Calvary
The crosses were placed at road junctions, which allowed to the Romans to find their way. Later, they became religious symbols. In other neighboring regions, these landmarks were oratories.
In our village, they were mainly positionned at the end or at the beginning of a few streets. Some of them were restored in recent years.
The cross on Calvary in the village entrance.
The majority of ponds and old wells have been backfilled and the remaining ponds have been secured by barriers. These water points were used for watering cows and other livestock.
Several generations have heard of drownings in the ponds, the most known event being Doctor Giffo's drowning.