Bayeux Property Insight

Bayeux is a town located in the Calvados department and in the Lower Normandy region. It is also at the heart of the former region of Bessin, which used to gather the western part of Calvados and a part of the Manche department. There are 14,500 inhabitants, called the Bajocasses or Bayeusains, living in Bayeux. The town is also the sous-préfecture of its department.

The town and the Bessin area are mostly renowned for the Allies’ landing in 1944. Indeed, Bayeux was the first French town to be freed, and unlike many towns and cities in Normandy, such as Caen, Bayeux was not destroyed at all during WWII. The town is also well renowned for its beautiful medieval tapestry, known as the ‘Bayeux tapestry’.


Since the town did not suffer from WWII, you can still admire its historical and architectural heritage from Middle Ages and Renaissance. Bayeux actually has existed since the Gallo-Roman era; however, there are not many vestiges from that period. We only know that it was called Bajocassum, that the current main street was built at that time, and two thermal baths were found underground. The town was destroyed by Vikings in 890, and was then rebuilt during the 10th century. It was an important town during the Norman Duchy, until 1050 when Caen was named as the new capital of the Duchy. Bayeux suffered a lot during the 12th century and the end of the 100 years war, and was finally destroyed by English people in 1417. In 1450 the town started to develop again, and the Renaissance was a good period for Bayeux.

Bayeux has managed to preserve its historical heritage. When strolling in the narrow streets of the town you can admire the beautiful manors and half-timbered houses, vestiges of prosperous times.

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Bayeux Immobilier & Property Market Trends

In France in 2009 a house is worth €3,200/sq m. In Bayeux, as house prices are around €2,230/sq m, the town can be said to be rather affordable. It is also affordable if compared to the department average, €2,900/sq m. This is understandable as Calvados boasts many key touristic destinations (Caen, Deauville) where prices are more expensive than the national average.

Thanks to its location close by British Islands, Bayeux is a good investment for a second-home property. As prices are relatively low, you can even afford to buy a large house, such as a manor, or a colombage house. However, you can also choose to invest in a buy-to-let. As 65% of residents are tenants, and as the town welcomes half million tourists a year, the area offers great rental opportunities.

To get updated info about the property prices in Calvados, please browse our French Property Market Reports published in the News Section every month.

Click here to have an overview of Basse Normandie Property Prices.

4 Reasons to Buy a Property in Bayeux

  • Culture, art and historical heritage: as already mentioned, Bayeux is one of the few towns that was not destroyed during WWII. As a consequence there is a large historical heritage that can be visited. As the entire Normandy, Bayeux stands out for its religious and sacred architecture and monuments. Notre Dame Cathedral is the archetype of this kind of architecture. Also many monuments and inside decorations have as main theme William the Conqueror's England conquest. As Bayeux was the first town to be freed by Allies, there are also many museums to commemorate this sad part of history.

  • Good food: Bayeux, and more generally the Bessin area are traditionally dedicated to agriculture. As in Basque Country or in Gascony, Bayeux has its own type of pork. It is white with black spots. As part of Normandy, Bayeux is also dedicated to apple production in order to produce Cider, Calvados and Pommeau; and also to dairy production. Finally you will find a chocolate factory, called the Drakkar chocolate factory, where some typical chocolate made with calvados are produced. All these local produces can be found at the local street market every Saturday, at the Saint Patrice square.

  • Bayeux tapestry: it is one of the main attraction of Bayeux. It is also called the ‘Mathild Queen Tapestry’, or the ‘Telle du Conquest’ (canvas conquest), as it describes William the Conqueror's England invasion. In 2007 it was recognized as a World Memory by UNESCO as it tells long about life during the 11th century. Indeed, it does not deal only with the England conquest, but it also shows French and English castles, clothes and habits at that time. Actually, the master piece is not really a tapestry; it is more an embroidery of 8 colours. At its origin the tapestry was exposed in Bayeux Cathedral, and it is divided into many panes, for a total of 70 metre long and 50 cm high. It is a unique master piece that gives priceless information of life during the 11th century. Nowadays you can see it at the William the Conqueror centre, a museum dedicated to the tapestry.

  • Location – transport infrastructure: the main asset of the Normandy region for British people is its closeness to the British Islands. Indeed, there are many direct ferries from Normandy harbours to English coast. Bayeux does not have its own harbour, hence you will have to go to Ouistreham (32km from Bayeux) to take the ferry to Portsmouth. In Bayeux there is also a railway station, and trains go to Paris and Caen and Rennes. In the town itself you can easily move thanks to the bus network going through the entire town and surrounding villages.

Property Styles and Architecture in Bayeux

Bayeux is characterized by its manors and its old traditional 14th century half-timbered houses. However, there are also 53% of apartments.

  • Half-timbered houses: this kind of dwelling was built between the 14th and the 18th centuries. They are classical colombage houses: their walls are made from cob work inserted between wood panels. As many half-timbered houses, the down part of the house is in stone and the upper part boasts a beautiful colombage where timber frame and bricks are mixed into beautiful geometrical shapes. These houses are usually quite big, are two-storey high. Some of them might come with an interior courtyard; they have a traditional big kitchen, many bedrooms, 1 or 2 bathrooms, independent toilet. The inside is beautifully decorated with timber and freestone.

  • Manors: they are luxurious properties that used to represent the power and wealth of their residents. They are huge farmhouses constructed mainly of stone and granite, the roof being made of tiles and steeply pitched. Sometimes wood is used, for instance for doors, windows and fireplaces. Manors’ imposing dimensions are their main feature. The property also comes with a piece of land hiding behind a huge gate.

Click here for more info about the Architecture in Basse Normandie.

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Take a closer look at the Calvados property market:
Caen Property Information Deauville Property Information
Honfleur Property Information