Legend suggests that the origins of St Pol lie as far back as the 8th century. However, historical references are frequent from the beginning of the 11th century onwards. Despite its early renown its location was not always a happy one lying as it did on an habitual battle front, whether in the 12th, the 16th or the 20th centuries.
An especially poignant link with the UK is that it was in 1920 from a chapel in St Pol that the body of a British "unknown soldier" was taken to Westminster.
The history of St Pol sur Ternoise
St Pol today
Surrounded by the green hills of St Polois and crossed by the river Ternoise the town and its related communes are beautifully situated.
Today's St Pol has grown significantly in the last few decades helped by inward investment and the development of new services. In particular, European industry leaders in the food & agricultural sector such as Herta and Ingrédia have developed their facilities in the St Pol area.
The position of the town is also now beneficial as it is on a crossroads not just for northern France but also for traffic from the UK and the Netherlands. Activities such as cycling, mountain biking, archery, angling, and clay pigeon shooting are all available locally. There are places of interest in the area, there is a motor racing circuit and the coast is not far away. The battlefields of Azincourt (Agincourt), and, from the First World War, Ypres, Vimy Ridge and the Somme, are in easy reach.
Initial contacts through school exchanges led to the twinning of Hebden Bridge and St Pol. The first visit from St Pol in 1979 was led by M. Pignion the mayor for the initial signing of the twinning agreement. The agreement was then finalised in St Pol in 1980. Since then as the result of the regular visits many friendships have been developed. In May 2014 a large delegation from Hebden Bridge visited St Pol to celebrate the 35th anniversary of the twinning and renew the twinning agreement.
One of the military cemeteries from the 1st World War
A nature walk near St Pol.
Installing the commemorative pillar in Hebden Bridge
Parade in St Pol