Last modified: 2003-07-05 by ivan sache
Keywords: yvelines | thiverval-grignon |
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by Ivan Sache
Thiverval-Grignon is a municipality of c. 400 inhabitants, located 20 km west of Versailles. The municipality is made of the two villages of Thiverval and Grignon. The municipality was originally named Thiverval. A decree from 18 October 1952 changed its name to Thiverval-Grignon.
As it is the case in many places in Ile-de-France, remains of the Prehistoric times have been found in Thiverval-Grignon. There were also settlements in the area in the Gallo-Roman times. The ancient roads to the cities of Meulan and Poissy are indeed remains of Roman ways.
The village was granted a parish status in the XIth century. A charter signed by King of France Philippe I in 1061 mentioned Thiverval (Tyverval) and Grignon (Greygnon) as dependances of the chapter of Poissy. The building of the parish church began in the XIIth century. A legend says that an early church was built in Thiverval by Clovis, who threw away three feathers and built three churches on their landing point. In the XIIIth century, the parish of Thiverval and the fief of Grignon were a dependance of the châtellegnie (seigniory) of Poissy. Both were incorporated to the County of Montfort in 1484 by King Charles VIII.
Thiverval and Grignon nearly extincted during the XVth century because of the English invasions and the black plague epidemics.
In 1537, King François I bought Grignon and offered it to his mistress Diane de Poitiers. The domain was purchased in 1582 by Pomponne I de Bellièvre, General Surintendant of the Finances of the Kingdom of France. Pomponne built the castle (in style Louis XIII) as we know it today and a 6 km wall still surrounding the domain. In 1651, Grignon became a marquisate for Pomponne I's grand-son, Pomponne II, who was the First President of the Parliament of Paris. The domain of Grignon was increased in 1674, causing the suppression of a few houses and the transfer of the village of Thiverval more to the west.
In the XVIIIth century, the parish of Thiverval had 400 inhabitants living in 84 homesteads, 14 of them being in Grignon and 24 in the Petits-Prés, a hamlet incorporated to the municipality of Plaisir in 1819. Most of the inhabitants were farmers or winegrowers.
The last marquionness of Grignon, Madame de Brassac, sold the castle to Mr Auguie, whose daughter married in 1802 Marshall Ney, Duke of Elchingen and Prince of Moskwa (1769-1815). The domain was later bought by Marshall Bessières, Duke of Istria (1768-1813), whose widow sold it in 1826. King Charles X bought the domain and created there the Royal Agronomical Institute, later renamed Imperial Agriculture School (1852), National Agriculture School (1870), National Higher Agriculture School, and eventually National Agronomical Institute after the merging in 1971 with the National Agronomical Institute of Paris. The school is now called Institut National Agronomique Paris-Grignon (INA-PG) because of its tow campuses.
Ivan Sache, 15 December 2002
The flag of Thiverval-Grignon is made of the municipal logo placed on a white field, with THIVERVAL-GRIGNON written in black beneath the logo.
The municipal logo is a vegetal stylization of the letters T and G, all in green. The leaves attached to the vertical arm of the T are probably an oak leaf, standing for the forest of the domain of Grignon (severely hurt by the Christmas 1999 thunderstorm), and a grapevine leaf, standing for the ancient wine-growing tradition in the village. The horizontal arm of the G and its roots might symbolize a wheat seedling, small grain cereals being the most common crops in the area.
The municipal flag is flown on a pole standing on the crossroad between the secondary road Plaisir-Poissy and the street Lucien Brétignières, which runs along the village of Grignon down to the gate of the domain of Grignon. The flag appeared in the late 90s and was originally flown along with the French and European flags. The Christmas 1999 thunderstorm blew down two of the three poles, and the flag of Thiverval-Grignon stands now alone. From a picture shown on the municipal website, it seems that this flag is also hoisted over the city hall, which is located in the village of Thiverval.
Ivan Sache, 15 December 2002