1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Domfront
DOMFRONT, a town of north-western France, capital of an arrondissement in the department of Orne, 43 m. W.N.W. of Alençon by rail. Pop. (1906) of the town, 2215; of the commune, 4663. The town, which is picturesquely situated on a bluff overlooking the Varenne, has a church, Notre-Dame-sur-l’Eau, dating from the 11th century. In the middle ages it was one of the chief strongholds in Normandy, and there still remain several towers of its ramparts, and ruins of the keep of its castle built in 1011, rebuilt in the 12th century by Henry II., king of England, and dismantled at the end of the 16th century. The town is the seat of a sub-prefect, and has a tribunal of first instance and a communal college. Cloth is manufactured, and there are granite quarries in the vicinity. Domfront is said to have grown up in the 6th century round the oratory of the hermit St Front, and played an important part in the wars against the English and the Religious Wars. In 1574 it was occupied by the Protestant leader Gabriel de Montgomery, who after a stubborn siege was forced to yield it to Jacques Goyon, count of Matignon.