1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Perche

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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., Vendômois 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 Bellême. 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 count ship of which Corbon, Mortagne and Nogent-le-Rotrou were successively the capitals. Under the ancien régime it formed, together with Maine, a gouvernement of which Mortagne was the capital.