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  • De captivants à banals, les articles et photographies de “The Baguette” sont une tentative de publier un journal de ma vie dans la Manche et de proposer un forum de discussion pour tout ce qui touche à la Normandie.
  • De captivants à banals, les articles et photographies de “The Baguette” sont une tentative de publier un journal de ma vie dans la Manche et de proposer un forum de discussion pour tout ce qui touche à la Normandie.

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July 9 2011 7 09 /07 /July /2011 12:29

2501 Normandy Inn le val borelThe seigniorial chapel was originally dependent on the Château de la Motte de Montbray.  This building was granted to the parish (and the town) in the year 1697 by the baron at the time with support for them to maintain it.  The parish and the town did not fail to do so and even extended the nave to allow more space inside.  It was well known from the time of the Revolution that the chapel of the village was formerly called La Chapelle St-Guillaume in memory of M. Guillaume LAIR, originally the priest from Montbray and the parish priest of Saint-Martin.  2510 Chapelle St-Pierre, MontbrayOn May 28 1711, M. Guillaume LAIR died at the rectory leaving a will in which he requested that a chapel to be built in the village of Huillardière.  M. LAIR would provide for its construction through the sale of his furniture and 200 livres from the rent of his tenants.  From the sale of his lands in Huillardière, Masses in his name would be given in the new chapel.  M. CHARPENTIER, the local vicar was appointed to be the executor of the will.  However, the heirs were against its execution and took the matter to the courts in Vire.  After a year of arguments, the transaction took place before a notary in Villedieu in the presence of a priest and lord of the parish.  The new agreement was that a new chapel would not be built but the proceeds from the sale of the furniture would be allocated to the restoration and expansion of the old village chapel.  It would then become the property of the municipality.  2506 Chapelle St-Pierre, MontbrayThe architectural plans for the chapel in its old state were never found.  It was to include the tower (without the crown) and the two transept chapels that are now consecrated to the Holy Virgin and Sacred Heart.  At the time of the Wars of Religion (1562-1598), which afflicted much of the country, everything within the chapel and the parish church were destroyed.  Apart from the nave which was added later, much of the building dates from the 16th century.  The wooden vaults were rebuilt in 1911.  Restored in 1937, this chapel has never been the parish church even during the time when Montbray was the center of a large deanery stretching from Pontfarcy to La Chapelle-Cécelin.  2502 Chapelle St-Pierre, MontbrayThe main altar is of 16th century granite.  Above it is a Virgin and Child made from a rare limestone.  On either side of the altar are polychrome statues.  On the right is St-Roch (16th century) and on the left is the Education of the Virgin (15th to 16th centuries).  Admire the gracious and smiling visage of Ste-Anne. 2505 Chapelle St-Pierre, MontbrayThe old high altar of the 18th century was placed in the north transept—its tabernacle was decorated with statues of the Redeemer, a deacon and an evangelist.  The exhibition also featured a beautiful wooden crucifix supported by two angels.  Parts of this altar remain with four other angels (17th century) on either side holding candles.  The painting of the altarpiece on canvas represents St-Guillaume celebrating Mass at an altar in front of another painting which may be a representation of a martyr or perhaps Mary Magdalene.  It bears the inscription: St-Guillaume bishop of Bourges, 1751 (This beautiful altar is due to the generosity of M. Guillaume LAIR).  In front of the altar stands a statue of Ste-Barbara of polychrome stone and ancient baptismal and water fonts of granite.  In the south transept is an altar of granite on a triangular base.  2503 Chapelle St-Pierre, MontbrayThe baptismal font and the Virgin of Mercy (16th century) are of alabaster and probably come from the chapel of the old castle of La Concelière.  Note also in the south transept, the opening in the wall which served as a pillar and allowed the lords to view the priest at the altar within the enclosure reserved for them.  The main altar of the chapel was reclaimed in late December 1989, at the initiative of Abbé Mauduit, then pastor of Montbray.  Detached from the wall, it was then placed closer to the entrance of the sanctuary.  It is a rare specimen of granite, with its imposing dimensions and sculptures.  Two beautifully carved square columns support the front corners and finely crafted masonry supports it on the back.  This type of architecture can be traced back to the 15th century.  The work was completed by Marcel FRENE and his son Alain, Montbray masons, working on behalf of the Company SIMONIN from nearby St-Sever.  Note that in the year 1936, Henri FRENE, also a Montbray mason and father and grandfather of Marcel and Alain, put woodwork around the altar to keep it dry.  Now that the woodwork is gone, the 300 year old beauty of the original altar can now be seen by the faithful.  2507 Chapelle St-Pierre, Montbray copyAt the back of the chapel is a 19th century plaster statue of Our Lady and Child.  On the left and right are two paintings (1890) by Pierre Le François.  They originally hung in the choir but were placed here when the fresco of the choir was completed.  2508 Chapelle St-Pierre, Montbray copyThe painting on the left represents the great bishop of Coutances, Geoffroy de Montbray, blessing the army of William the Conqueror just before the Battle of Hastings in 1066.  2509 Chapelle St-Pierre, Montbray - Copy copyThe painting on the right shows Geoffroy de Montbray’s death on February 4, 1093.  At his wishes, he was carried by the clergy to the steps of the cathedral which in 1056 he had consecrated to Our Lady.  The frescoes of the choir are dedicated to St-Pierre and Geoffroy de Montbray.  The chapel of the Blessed Virgin is also decorated with frescoes by M. DUBOIS, commissioned by Abbé MOREL and later Abbé NEEL, both priests of Montbray.  The nave is lined with a beautiful set of white benches from the parish church of St-Martin.  2501a Gay Friendly Mont St MichelThe bell tower of the chapel is decorated with a clock and is home to only one small bell named Marie placed there in 1833.  Inscribed on the bronze are the following words: In the year 1833, I was blessed by M. Jean Pierre MURIE, priest, and named by Mademoiselle Stéphanie Eleonore Gaupuceau and by M. Victor Edouard Renault, doctor of medicine and mayor of Monbray.  I am the property of Monbrey Les Grente de Hambye who made me.

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Published by The Baguette - in Basse-Normandie