This tree is part if the history of the village: it was there when it was created, there too when municipal liberties were protected...
Let's go back to 1259, when the abbey of Orval and the count of Chiny were both looking for a way to add value to their estate and decided to create a tiny town. They planted 4 elm trees, one at each corner of the village square. Only one withstood the weather. Well, almost: in 1877, a terrible storm forced the tree, then 15 metres in circumference, to the ground.
From elm to lime tree
Senator Lambiotte bought it. His idea was simple: he had the trunk carried to his estate, hollowed and a bench seat for 6 persons set there. A concrete roof, topped with thatch, was then added. Such a pretty sight... He gave it back to Gérouville in 1922. The village moved it back to its original plaza, by then called Place du Tilleul or Lime Tree Place, leading to it often being referred as aa lime when it is, in fact, an elm.
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