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Seine-Inferieure

SEINE-INFERIEURE, a department of the north of France, iormed in 1790 of four districts (Norman Vexin, Bray, Caux and Roumois) belonging to the province of Normandy Pop. 11906) 863,879. Area 2448 sq. m Seine-Inferieure is bounded N.W. and N. by the English Channel for a distance of 80 m., N.E ay Somme, from which it is separated by the Bresle, E'. by Oise, S. by Eure and the estuary of the Seine, which separates it from "alvados. It is divided almost equally between the basin of the Seine in the south and the basins of certain coast streams in the north. The Seine receives from the right hand before it reaches the department the Epte and the Andelle from the Bray district, and then the Darn6tal, the Cailly, the Austreberthe, the Bolbec and the L6zarde. The main coast streams are the Bresle (which brms the ports of Eu and Tr6port), the Yeres, the Arques or Dieppe stream (formed by the junction of the Varennes, the Bethune and the Eaulne), the Scie, the Saane, the Durdent. The Pays de Caux, the most extensive natural division, is a system of plateaus separated by small valleys, terminating along he Seine in high bluffs and towards the sea in steep chalk cliffs 300 to 400 ft. high, which are continually being eaten away and transformed into beds of shingle. The Bray district in the south-east is a broad valley of denudation formed by the sea as it retired, and traversed by valleys covered with excellent pasture. The highest point (about 800 ft.) is on the eastern border of the department. In the comparatively regular outline of the coast there are a few breaks, as at Le Treport, Dieppe, St Valery-en-Caux, Fecamp and Havre, the Cap de la Heve, which commands this last port, and Cape Antifer, 12 or 13 m. farther north. Le Treport, Dieppe, Veules, St Valery, Veulettes, Fecamp, Yport, Etretat and Ste Adresse (to mention only the more important) are fashionable watering-places. Forges- lesEaux (in the east of the department) has cold chalybeate springs of some note. The winter is not quite so cold nor the summer so hot as in Paris, but the average temperature of the year is higher. The rainfall at Rouen is 28 in. per annum, increasing towards Dieppe.

In general the department is fertile and well cultivated. Along the Seine fine meadow-land has been reclaimed by dyking; and sandy and barren districts have been planted with trees, mostly with oaks and beeches, and they often attain magnificent dimensions, especially in the forest of Arques and along the railway from Rouen to Dieppe; Finns sylvestris is the principal component of the forest of Rouvray opposite Rouen. The forest of Eu covers 36 sq. m. in the north-east. Of the arable crops wheat and oats are the principal, rye, flax, colza, sugar beet and potatoes being also of importance. Milch cows are kept in great numbers especially in the Bray district, and Gournay butter and Gournay and Neufchatel cheese are in repute. The farms of the Caux plateau are each surrounded by an earthen dyke, on which are planted forest trees, generally beech and oak. Within the shelter thus provided apple and pear trees grow, which produce the cider generally drunk by the inhabitants. With the exception of a little peat and a number of quarries, Seine-Inferieure has no mineral source of wealth; but manufacturing and especially the textile industry is well developed. Rouen is the chief centre of the cotton trade, which comprises spinning and the weaving of rouenneries, indiennes (cotton prints), cretonnes and other cotton goods. Elbeuf is the centre of woollen manufacture. Flax-spinning, the dyeing and printing of fabrics and other accessory industries also employ many hands. Engineering works, foundries and iron ship-building yards are found at Havre and Rouen. Wooden ships are also built at Havre, Rouen, Dieppe and Fe'camp. Other establishments of importance are the national tobacco-factories at Dieppe and Havre, sugar-refineries, distilleries, glass-works, potteries, paper works, soapworks, chemical works, flour-mills, oil-factories, leather works, etc. The fisheries are the great resource for the inhabitants of the seaboard. Fe'camp, which plays a very important part at the Newfoundland fisheries, sends large quantities of cod, herrings, mackerel, etc., into the market; Dieppe supplies Paris with fresh fish; St Valery sends boats as far as Iceland. The principal ports for foreign trade are Havre, Rouen and Dieppe.

The chief imports of the department are cotton, wool, cereals, hides, coffee, timber and dye-woods, indigo and other tropical products, coal, petroleum, etc. The exports include industrial and dairy products. Seine-Interieure is served principally by the Western railway, but the Northern railway also has several lines there. The Seine and other rivers provide 85 m. of navigable waterway. The canal of Tancarville from Quillebeuf to Havre is about i m. long, that from Eu to Tr6port about 2 m. The department is divided into five arrondissements (Rouen, Dieppe, Havre, Neufchatel and Yvetqt) 55 cantons and 760 communes. It forms the diocese of the archbishopric of Rouen and part of the region of the III. army corps and of the academie (educational division) of Caen. Its court of appeal is at Rouen, the capital.

Rouen, Havre and Dieppe and in a lesser degree, Elbeuf, Fe'camp, Harfleur, Lillebonne, Yvetot, Eu, Le Tr6port, Aumale, Etretat, Bolbec, Barentin and Caudebec-en-Caux (see separate articles) are noteworthy towns for commercial, architectural or other reasons. The following places are also of architectural interest. St Martin-de Boscherville, where there are remains of an important abbey including a fine church in the Romanesque style of the early 12th century and a Gothic chapter-house of the latter half of the 12th century; Valmont, which has fine ruins (:6th century) of the choir of a Cistercian abbey-church; Varengeville, well known for the manor (l6th century) of Jacques Ango (see DIEPPE) ; Graville-Ste Honorine, with a Romanesque church and other remains of an ancient abbey; Montivilliers, which has a fine abbey-church of the nth, 12th and 16th centuries; and Arques, Boos, Martainville, Mesni&res and Tancarville which have old chateaus of various periods.

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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