Origins of the village’s name

  • During the French period, as land was being divided and given to pioneers as concessions, it is believed that Mr. François Philippe Duguermeur de Penhoët was the first to acquire the area known today as Case Noyale. This occurred on the 16th of January 1771. It is likely that Mr. Duguermeur was the one to give Case Noyale its name. Indeed, in Brittany where this man came from, Noyale can mean “newly cleared land” or “an area planted with walnut trees” (noyale). A village with the name of “Noyale-sur-Villaine” in Britanny also exists; this town was known for the manufacture of sturdy fabric known as “noyale” made from hemp and used for sails.

A Soldier named “Noyal”

Despite these above connections, legends about the name have abounded. One of those relates to the story of a retired French soldier known as “Noyal” who obtained land in  the area and built a house – known locally as “case”. This soldier, renowned for his hospitality welcomed visitors on their way to Savanne. This was relayed by Walter Edward Hart, father of the famed Mauritian poet, Robert Edward Hart.

Case Royale?

Another legend about the origin of the name is attributed to Pierre Marie Le Normand who  obtained several concessions in Black River including the locality known today as Case Noyale. It is said that the quality of his hospitality earned the place the name of “Case Royale”, which was later misspelled into Case Noyale. However the information found in the register of concessions contradicts this hypothesis. [1]

 Of all of these theories, the first is the most likely scenario as it reflects historical records on concessions. With time, names such as Noyale which have roots in the country of origin, may have been lost and associations with more common words or names made.


[1] Jean-Pierre Lenoir, Bel Ombre, entre mer et montagne, Editions du Corsaire

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