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    History of the Commune of BOURNIQUEL

1789 : The sovereignty of the people is declared although with restricted suffrage. Citizens are accorded the right to vote if :
• they have a fixed address (min. 1 year)
• pay taxes
• are 25 years of age - later reduced to 21 by the French National Convention.

« Very early on parishes in the jurisdiction of Lalinde, including Bourniquel, impatient for a new form of administration and policing, wished to establish an elected Municipal Committee. They planned to create one community body, to be united and form a confederation for the well-being of everybody.» On 6 September 1789, the day this committee was formed, Bourniquel was absent. Later the priests of Bourniquel, Saint Front and Pontours also refused to publish the convocation to the Assembly of 17 February 1790 at which the municipal body was to be elected and the citizens of these three parishes refused to attend the meeting.
It is from this split that the municipality of Bourniquel was established in its present form ; following events of 1798 and thanks to the wishes of its inhabitants, the parish of Bourniquel become from 1790 onwards, an independant commune.
At this time the village had a population of approximately 350 inhabitants.

Today, the commune of Bourniquel counts a population of 69*, belongs to the Pays Beaumontois Community of Communes and covers a surface area of 800 ha of which 50% is covered by forest with the rest being either farmed or uncultivated.
The soil, composed of siderolithic, porous, sandy, surface deposits on the plateaux, is not very fertile. The high levels of acidity in the soil are conducive to chestnuts, maritime pines (recently planted) and pasture land. On the hillsides the soil is formed of Campanian chalk and is more fertile and just as porous. Here we find oak thickets, Scots pine and, where the soil is deeper, cereal farming. The best soil is reserved for specialised crops such as tobacco although this is only grown on a few hectares of naturally more fertile Maestrichtian red clay. There are no water reserves as the soil is too porous to retain any significant quantity.
The average altitude of the commune is 120m above sea level and the village is situated on a ridge separating the Dordogne valley to the north from the Roumaguet (a tributary of the Couze) to the south-west.
The geographic situation, the development of dairy and cattle-farming (respectful of nature and with the animals primarily outdoors), the tranquillity of the countryside and the Registered Hiking Trail GR6 E linking up to footpaths at Lalinde, Le Buisson and Beaumont are factors which combine to make Bourniquel very attractive as far as tourism is concerned.
Leaflets about the village are available at the Beaumont Tourist Information Office.
Bourniquel’s isolation remains relative as it is, in fact, only 5km from all shops and essential everyday services at the bastide towns of Lalinde (to the north) and Beaumont (to the south).
The commune is situated 4km south of the Bergerac-Lalinde-Sarlat road on which local tourism relies linking as it does Bordeaux to the Périgord Noir and to the Quercy (via Beaumont, Cahors).
Bourniquel is also only 5km from St Avit Sénieur, on the St Iago de Compestella pilgrimage route, and its restored 13th century abbey and museum.

Archaeology :
Monseigneur Chastang, Chamberlain to the Pope and priest of Bourniquel from 1886 to 1944 was a pioneer of prehistoric archaeology at Bourniquel.




Mousterien biface in the Acheulean tradition
Height : 20cm
Width : 13.5cm


Jamblancs and Malpas Palaeolithic Sites :

The bones found in this archaeological site include a slice of reindeer horn, a minute fragment of a large, grooved assegai and an almost complete assegai in reindeer horn measuring 326mm. This «double-pointed» item also displays a deep, lengthways groove. It was found broken in eleven pieces under a large stone lying amongst the rubble.
This type of « bi-pointed », grooved assegai is generally accredited to the Magdalenian III period according to the classification of Abbé Breuil. This one is of an exceptional size, only surpassed, to the best of our knowledge, by a « bi-pointed » non-grooved assegai found at Laugerie Haut Est and which Peyrony dated as Magdalenian III.
It is, therefore, reasonable to attribute to this period the industry evident in the rubble of the corridor of the eastern shelter, particularly in view of the assegai and stone work displaying several markings. So it is highly regrettable that this site has been practically destroyed although, strangely enough, this fact might corroborate the age of the main two engraved blocks of stone found in the rubble at Jamblancs, (given in the 1934 publication of the findings) which are remarkably similar in terms of engravings and sculpture to those found at Laugerie-Haut.

(official population on January 1, 2017)

Text translated by Pays du Grand Bergeracois (professional translator).