Limousines

Shepherds in Limousin in the distant past developed a large hooded cloak as protection from that region’s rainy weather. As sedan chairs, and later large horse drawn coaches became fashionable in France the sedan bearers or drivers were often exposed to the weather while their passengers were sheltered in an enclosed compartment. To protect themselves from the weather the chauffeurs adopted the Limousin cloak which was the most effective garment they knew of to protect them from the weather. Thus the chauffeurs now looked like Limousines (i.e. people from Limousin).

Somehow, probably by observers saying “here comes a Limousin“, or something similar, as these vehicles and their hooded drivers approached, the name came to apply to luxurious professionally driven passenger transport generally.

Fred Yates

The artist Fred Yates spent the last years of his life in Bellac, painting in the café by the river.

The Apollo of Bellac

'The Apollo of Bellac' is a comedy in one act by Jean Giraudoux, set in the reception room of The International Bureau of Inventions, in Paris, during autumn. It focuses on a timid young woman by the name of Agnes. She is given the most powerful secret in life by a homeless man. The secret is that if you tell all men that they are handsome they will play right into your hands. She quickly catches on and the men of the Bureau all fall for her like skittles. The play ends with her meeting the handsome (and single) Chairman of the Board, and everyone wondering what has happened to the great man named Apollo (the homeless inventor) who quietly slipped away.

Eleanor of Aquitaine

Eleanor of Aquitaine, who was Queen of England between 1120 - 1204, had her power base in Poitiers near Bellac.

She was married to the French and English King Henry II. As Duchess of Aquitaine she brought to England much of south western France - including Bellac.

This caused a struggle for 300 years between England and France. At some stages Bellac was controlled by the English and I think the house could have been built during the hundred years war posibly by the English.

Richard I

Richard the 1st spent most his time on crusades and around Limoges and died quite close to Bellac at the castle of Châlus near Limoges.

The Black Prince

The Black Prince also has connections with the area, laying siege to Limoges, where 3000 inhabitants were massacred, and wining at the Battle of Poitiers.