The castle in which William was born was extended by his youngest son, Henry Beauclerc.
Falaise castle is built on a natural defensive position, atop a sheer granite face drop. This may have given the town its name (‘Falaise’ is French for ‘Cliff’).
Legend has it that William’s father stood on the ramparts when he spotted Herleva, a tanner’s daughter, washing clothes nearby. William was the result of their romance.
WW2 historians would also know the site, as the Pocket of Falaise was around this place. This battle in August 1944 saw the German 7th Army attempt to break out, as it found itself surrounded by allied forces moving inland after D-Day.