The story of Escandolières
The village of Escandolières is situated on the foothills of the Massif Central, in the north west of the department of Aveyron, in an area bordered by two rivers, the Lot and the Aveyron. Situated at the eastern limit of the Decazeville basin – once an important coal-mining and industrial area – it belongs to the canton of Rignac. Its territory extends as far as the valley of Marcillac in the north east.
With dramatic changes in altitude within a relatively small area (its highest point being at 633m and its lowest at 280m), Escandolières has a landscape of hills and valleys, punctuated by hedges, small fields and open meadows. The village is in two parts: a few houses around the 15th-16th century Gothic church, and the rest around the school, town hall and bar-restaurant along the D253 road. Recent improvements have restored the charm of many of the old buildings.
The name of the village derives from the Occitan ‘Las Candolièiras’, meaning ‘barley land’. Old documents show that the soil was not particularly fertile here. Historical records also show that the priory of Saint Denis was under the control of the bishop of Rodez , and that Hugues Bénardi de Belpuech (or Belpech) was seigneur of Escandolières around 1372.
In the vicinity
Le Capelle del Vern (known as Las Mourgues in the 17th century) was the site of a Benedictine monastery, which in the 13th century had at least twenty monks. In 1415 it was affiliated with the abbey of St Jean Del Buis , near Aurillac, to which the monks were eventually transferred. La Capelle became part of the parish of Goutrens, and was then established as an autonomous parish in 1858. Recent restoration work has brought to life the distinctive character of the village and its little church.
At Lestrade Haute, the highest point of the village (633m), an orientation table identifies the sights in a vast panorama including the Ségala, Rodez, the Aubrac, the mountains of Cantal and the Marcillac valley.
Translation: Sarah Donovan