Founded in c. 1020 by Guillaume de Bellême known as 'Talvas', Lonlay Abbey was originally occupied by the monks of Saint-Benoît-sur-Loire. Interpolated between the Gothic choir and porch, there are no more remains of the Romanesque edifice than the transept whose lower and middle sections show some signs of fishbone bonding, and date back to the end of the 11th century or beginning of the 12th century.

Unlike the very austere capitals in granite on the first level of the floors, in line with the geometric tendencies of the end of the 11th century, the eleven capitals of small columns located between the transept and the choir form an original collection within the corpus of Norman Romanesque sculpture, which has no equivalent except in the priory of Goult, a dependency of the abbey of Lonlay. These were created in c. 1090 in a white limestone which is different to that of Caen - mostly used in Romanesque sculpture in Normandy - and are decorated with ornamental motifs or figured scenes which are often original.

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Details

Founded: c. 1020
Category: Religious sites in France
Historical period: Birth of Capetian dynasty (France)

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