Authou is the smallest municipality in the canton of Montfort-sur-Risle. Very surprising and unusual for a small rural town in the early 21st century, the population of this county is higher than its surface, giving a very good population density.
Authou was called successively Autouel, Auton and autou (without H). It is a name of Celtic origin which indicates a place down the bottom of a valley. This is, however, the situation of this village on the left bank of the Risle, at the confluence of Authou Torrent.
Torrent of Authou rises in the Chateau de Livet sur Authou. There is in the castle park two sources that come together to form the Torrent, with sources of Madness in the coast of Livet.
From the 11th century, the lordship of Authou was dead labor, that is to say, it was an ecclesiastical lord. Two-thirds of the manor belonged to the bishops of Avranches, and those of Lisieux.
In 1310, in exchange for the Area Ecouis, made by Philip the Fair, with the Abbey of Bec-Hellouin, Authou, Autouel called, was one of eight parishes in which 140 were distributed to religious vassals sold.
In the early 16th century, Jean du Bosc, esquire, took the title of Lord of Authou and Brétigny and Livet-sur-Authou.
Then, successive Peter Dean in 1573 and François du Val in 1640. During World War II, February 2, 1944, the British bombarded the town of Authou. This bombardment has reached above the cheese and butter to Authou. Several houses were destroyed and eight people (women and children) have died.
The church Authou, dedicated to St. Aubin, has kept traces of Romanesque architecture. The name of the Holy Bishop of Angers evidenced by the way, a Merovingian origin (late 11th century). It has preserved this time, its front door, two lancet windows in the choir on the north side and the remains of a beautiful bay at his bedside. A laundry timber lying in a pool fed by a spring has been cleverly restored to the former.
A leper would have existed in Authou at the White Cross, unable to indicate the time of its founding. There was also a butter factory on the farm of the White Cross.
Industrial village for its time, had a cheese Authou installed in the late 19th century, which was booming in the early 20th century. It produced the first pie called "Fame" Dec. 24, 1905, and the Pont l'Eveque, whose reputation went Authou known beyond our borders. This cheese factory employed a large number of people in Authou. Unfortunately, in the 1990s, this has left the area to relocate to sand in the Sarthe.
With water power from Torrent Authou in 1850, there were four flour mills, two oil mills and a wooden shoe factory and a twisting of 2200 pins and a carding factory. Today, the mills are converted into housing, including in rural house.
Close to the church, is the passage of the Roman road from Rouen to Le Mans, including the ballast is still visible from the air. Also referred to as ancient buildings discovered in the 19th century the territory of this municipality.
Authou was a very interesting crossroads for couriers and freight transport and passenger. The 18th and 19th centuries, and probably until the early 20th century, Croix Blanche had a coaching inn. There remain some vestiges of small buildings. This lodge has rooms and inn was, it allowed travelers from Caen to eat and rest.
White Cross was at the time, just in the palm of the fork of the "Y" formed on the one hand, by road (CC 8) Saint-Georges-du-Pont-Vièvre Authou (Road Caen-Rouen), and second, by road (RD 38) Saint-Georges-du-Vièvre in Brionne (the road to Paris). La Croix Blanche is still visible on a red brick pillar. The famous correspondence with branching allowed diligence Caen-Rouen, Pont-by Authou. Another diligence match Le Mans-Paris, passing by the street Black (RD 48), then by the CC 12, through the puppets, the woods and runs through the outskirts of Brionne.
The railway narrow gauge Cormeilles to Glos-sur-Montfort, circulated from 1901 to 1945 in the town of Authou. He was familiarly known as the "Tortillard". Authou was a break of that line, and became a railway terminus during the last war, after the destruction of the bridge rail on the Risle.