Grestain Abbey

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Remains of the Grestain Abbey

The Notre-Dame de Grestain was founded in the 11th century Norman Benedictine Monastery near Fatouville-Grestain in today's Eure . The abbey, closely associated with the family of William the Conqueror , Duke of Normandy, was instrumental in ensuring that the Normans took control of the Church in England, new churches and priories, in the centuries following the Norman conquest of England founded in England: many of the churches mentioned in the Domesday Book go back to Grestain Abbey as the origin.


Grestain Abbey was founded in 1050 by Herluin de Conteville and his wife Herleva , the mother of William the Conqueror. Herluin, who was sick with leprosy , is said to have had a vision of the Virgin Mary who ordered him to undergo healing treatment at the source of the Cardec Brook in Grestain . After his recovery, he decided to build an abbey dedicated to the Virgin in the nearby Vilaine Valley and a chapel in Carbec, which is also dedicated to the medicinal spring of Saint-Méen . Herluin's son Robert de Conteville, comte de Mortain , the half-brother of Wilhelm, was the main benefactor of the abbey, who donated his income from England to it.

In 1358 the abbey was sacked by the allied English and Navarrese. The monks fled to a safe house in Rouen , in the parish of Saint-Éloi. Another plunder took place between November 15, 1364 and August 10, 1365. When the monks returned, the abbey was almost completely demolished.

A number of priories belonged to the abbey, including

  • Saint-Astier (Dordogne) , founded by Geoffroi, the second abbot of Grestain
  • Sainte Scolasse or Saint-Nicolas-en-Scolasse in Sainte-Scolasse-sur-Sarthe , founded by Herluin de Conteville
  • Saint Nicol or Saint-Nicolas-du-Val-de-Claire in a suburb of Honfleur , founded by William the Conqueror

Grestain was closed in 1757 by order of the Bishop of Lisieux . The church buildings were demolished around 1766, the rest in 1790, destroyed during the Revolution . Only a few ruins remain, which were inserted into the private Château de La Pommeraye: a defensive wall, a portal from the 13th century, a manor house from the 18th century with a floor from the 13th century, and remains of the church. A memorial was erected in memory of the founders, who were buried in the now defunct church: Arlette, Herluin and Robert de Mortain, as well as Robert's wife Mathilde de Montgomerie, daughter of Roger de Montgomerie, 1st Earl of Shrewsbury .

In 1975 the abbey was declared a monument historique .


Web link


  1. Gazeau (1994), p. 336
  2. Golding (1990), p. 120
  3. Golding (2004)
  4. Choffel
  5. Golding (1990), p. 120
  6. ^ Website of the abbey

Coordinates: 48 ° 25 ′ 34.3 "  N , 0 ° 19 ′ 54.6"  E