PERCHE, a region of northern France extending over the departments of Orne, Eure, Eure-et-Loir and Sarthe. Its boundaries are Normandy on the N. and W., Maine on the S.W., Vend&mois and Dunois on the S., Beauce on the E. and Thimerais on the N.E. The greater part of the district is occupied by a semicircle of heights (from 650 to 1000 ft. in height) stretching from Moulins-la-Marche on the north-west to Montmirail on the south ; within the basin formed thereby the shape of which is defined by the Huisne, an affluent of the Sarthe, lie the chief towns Mortagne, Nogent-le-Rotrou and Belleme. Stock-raising and dairy-farming are flourishing in the Perche, which is famous for the production of a breed of large and powerful horses. Cider-apples and pears are grown throughout the district. In the middle ages the Perche constituted a countship of which Corbon, Mortajgne and Nogent-le-Rotrou were successively the capitals. Under the ancien regime it formed, together with Maine, a gouvernement of which Mortagne was the capital.
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)