La Lucerne Abbey (Abbaye Sainte-Trinité de La Lucerne) was founded in 1143 by Hasculf de Subligny, son of Othoerne, the tutor of William Adelin, both of whom perished in the White Ship disaster of 1120, and later had the support of the English crown. The new monastery was settled from Dommartin Abbey near Hesdin. The foundation stone of the permanent buildings was laid in 1164 by Achard of St. Victor, who was later buried here. Construction lasted from 1164 to 1178 and was in the Romanesque style, in the restrained and sober manner of Cistercian architecture, except that the complex was dominated by an Anglo-Norman Gothic tower. Major structural renovations were carried out in the 15th and 17th centuries.

La Lucerne was the mother-house of four other Premonstratensian monasteries: Ardenne Abbey, Mondaye Abbey and Belle-Étoile Abbey (at Cerisy-Belle-Étoile) in Normandy, and Beauport Abbey in Brittany.

During the French Revolution, in 1792, the abbey was suppressed. Its buildings were at first turned into a cotton mill and then used as a source of stone.

In 1959, under the aegis of Abbé Marcel Lelégard (1925-94), the enormous task was begun, which still continues under the 'Fondation Abbaye de La Lucerne d'Outremer', of the restoration of the abbey. The first phase of the work was the reconstruction of the abbey church, particularly the ogival crossing vaults and the west front with its Romanesque portal, continuing to the refectory and cellars.

Work has continued since then and the tithe barn, the Romanesque lavatorium (the only one in Normandy), the medieval gatehouse (with its bakery and courtrooms), the dovecote, the park, the 18th century abbot's lodgings and the ponds are all now restored . The chapel of Blessed Achard is in the process of restoration.



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Founded: 1143
Category: Religious sites in France
Historical period: Birth of Capetian dynasty (France)


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User Reviews

L'Oiseau Lybre (10 months ago)
Very good experience, nice visit, a calm place to enjoy the quiet and the beauty of nature. If you are Catholic, you can attend the mass for free.
Gabriel Elbel (11 months ago)
Simply excellent! I just love what they're aiming to build here, and the work that's already been done to some buildings is beautiful and inspiring Keep going guys ! 100% would recommend a visit, even if you're not fond of historical/spiritual points of interest
Lucie (11 months ago)
Beautiful park, fascinating architecture and clean toilets! Loved the scenery, green nature, the history and friendly kitten& goats that greeted us ? Recommend visiting on a sunny day, as it started to rain during our visit and apart from the church buildings, you can’t really seek shelter or relax somewhere. But on a sunny day perfect for a Picknick or some time in the gardens!
Prabal (12 months ago)
One of the great French restoring works. Really worth a visit. The formations and festivals here are really good
Robin MacNeill (5 years ago)
Hard to overstate how pretty it is. Abbey itself is fantastic, both inside and out and the grounds are gorgeous too. There's a little pond, a woods at the back and a field full of crickets. It's a very beautiful place.
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