The Ferme de la Rançonniere is a farm located in the Calvados region, Normandy, France. The first buildings were constructed in the 13th century, when the residence was called La Ferme de Biéville. At that time, Normandy was suffering from the tensions between the English crown and the kingdom of France, which eventually evolved into the Hundred Years War. Since at least 1463 the fiefdom of Biéville, to which the farm belonged, was in the hands of the Chastel family, whose coat of arms can be found on the fresco painted on the round tower. Most of the farm was reconstructed in the first part of the 17th century; the tower, which had lost its spiral stairway, is all the only remnant of the original farm. In 1710, the farm was acquired by the de la Rançonnière family, to which it owes its current name.
Peasants who worked the land of La Rançonnière could take shelter with their animals in the large courtyard, where they could defend themselves against enemy invasions and were protected by the solid entryway, an example of medieval military architecture. The communal archives of Crépon attest to the existence of a tunnel between La Ferme and the castle of Cruelly, three kilometers away, used for moving herds and supplies during times of siege.
Copyright: CC 3.0