Abbey Notre-Dame de Grestain

abbey of grestain

Nine Centuries of History

This criminal episode, marked by at least two murders, lasted for five years. It ended when the abbot and the monks were replaced. The monastic life could then resume normally, if one may say, since during the next five centuries the abbey suffered many vicissitudes. It was burned and pillaged several times by the English during the Hundred Years' War. It often served as a shelter for rogue soldiers. It suffered the plague.

Despite all this, the abbey survived. In 1450, Charles VII dwelt there for one month during the siege of Honfleur. It was there that he issued a decree calling for an enquiry on the trial of Joan of Arc.

Later, stripped of most of its possessions, the abbey exercised purely local influence. In 1757, a royal decree annulled the conventuality of the abbey which, legally, ceased to exist. The abandoned and ruined church and buildings were demolished except for one vaulted hall on which the still existing modest home for a chaplain was built.

In 1790, the abbey was sold to a shipowner from Le Havre, then passed through several families before being converted to a farm. Yet, despite everything, the memory of its origins survived.

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