Vignacourt has a long-standing reputation as a tradesmen village. This is explained by different facts, in the past, many people were merchants, merchants of flax, hats, cattle, hawkers...
Afterward, fairs and markets had a 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 craftsmen remains high and diversified and the flea market wins a great success every year, in the month of May.
- Coat of arms
The etymology of Vignacourt would come from wines-growing or Roman origin, but the first hypothesis seems the most credible.
The vines village
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 the 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 have worked on the Middle Ages period, specify that "many vineyards were planted around Amiens and the harvest was abundant", this activity was as important as the other cereals cultivated on these lands. The cultivation of vines will decline after several harsh winters from 1323 and for reasons of profitability. It will nevertheless continue in our village for a few more decades.
A roman leader
According to initial research carried out on Vignacourt, the name could come from a Roman chief, but no element so far, can confirm this information. VINARD: Roman general and CURTIUS: was the name of a legendary Roman. But the legend has not reached us.
At that time it was usual to give descriptive names related to geographical features.
The grapevine in Vignacourt
Cultivation of vines
According to popular belief, the locally cultivated vine was intended for the production of verjuice, it is not. These vineyards existed before the 16th century and to make verjuice at that time, we use acidic herbs such as sorrel.
From the 16th century only, verjuice was made in France with a variety of fairly large grapes, cheaper than sorrel and it has the specificity of not fully ripening, but it was not the concern of local farmers with a few acres of vines planted ... They used animal traction ...
Animal traction used in Alsace, in the East of France, on the hillsides of Bollenberg,
Photo courtesy of Domaine Valentin-Zusslin. ©
The counter-seal of the lord "Dreux d'Amiens", Vignacourt domain
was decorated on the left and on the right with vine and the branches,
Photo « Source gallica.bnf.fr / BnF ».
The coat of arms
The knights participating in the first Crusades needed to have different outfits, to facilitate mutual recognition between combatants. it was the emergence of shields and coat of arms. At that time few people knew how to write, even among the Lords.They followed some criteria, such as the choice of color according to the region of origin.
The coat of arms for the villages 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 Cassini's map is a map drawing of France’s Kingdom. The measures were done 30 years before the French revolution by César-François Cassini and Jean-Dominique Cassini. This typographic exercise was carried out with the existing unit of length, called "toise" in French, this unit metric was equivalent to 6 french feet. We can discover the churches, mills, forests, and even the Somme river.
Vignacourt was written without the "G" on the map, the church was symbolized by the cross, one windmill and the Roman way "Brunehaut" passing through the forest.
Vinacourt «Source gallica.bnf.fr / BnF».
Mr. Nicolas Sanson was born in Abbeville in 1600 and died 67 years later in Paris. His work was appreciated by Richelieu and a few kings. The map below was published in 1656.
Vignacourt is represented with two crosses, one for the church, one for the lord and the castle. The forest has also been carefully drawn. Flixecourt is illustrated with the same symbols: one cross for the church, one for the lord linked to the Lordship of Vignacourt.
This is also the case for the village of Picquigny, exhibiting the same characteristics.
Vignacour «Source gallica.bnf.fr / BnF».
The streets of "millers" and "the stone mill" confirms the former existence from several mills. In the street of the millers, there were 2 mills where people could come grind their wheat. A third mill had been destroyed by fire, as evidenced by the name given to the "burned windmill" path. The millers made flour or cooking oil in our village, there were also people have exercised the job of food oil merchants.
Authentic old windmill of Vignacourt disappeared.
The feudal Castle
The castle was located in the street bearing his name "Rue du château" (Street of the castle), adjoining the collegial. Its existence is mentioned in archives in the 13th century.
Some documentary sources mention this fortified castle and the collegiate church of considerable importance.
The collegiate church was positioned on the site of the current church, but the entrance was inverted. This whole was surrounded by thatched cottages intended housing for canons.
Rue du du château - "Street of the castle".
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.
Brenhaut Way, a one-way track.
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 water points and old wells have been backfilled and a few remaining ponds have been secured by barriers. These tiny ponds, "billabongs" for Australians, were used for watering cows and other livestock, therefore, the access was slippery.
There were at least 8 stagnant water pools, mainly situated in the central axis on this village, the main path, towards the years 1850.
Several generations have heard of drownings in these small ponds, the most known event being Doctor Giffo's drowning.