Just across from the ugly out-of-town shopping centre where I reluctantly go for some of my weekly grocery shop, is one of the most hideous concrete constructions I have ever seen in my entire life. Owned since the 1930’s by the enormous French company Lafarge, a ‘world leader in construction materials’, the monstrous site of concrete towers and cranes is the product of ‘renovations’ carried out in the 1970’s, to accommodate , fittingly enough, a giant cement works. This appalling example of architectural brutality sits side by side with the romantic remains of an ancient abbey constructed originally in the 12th century and added to over the centuries until its’ completion in the 1500’s. A number of these monastic buildings remain in glorious ruined contrast to their modern neighbour, but apart from the outer wall, few are accessible to the general public on a daily basis so when we passed by a while ago, I with camera in hand , we had to peer through railings and padlocked gates to get a glimpse of the potential mysteries beyond. Here is a selection of images of the Abbaye Notre-Dame de La Couronne – the cement works really is just too hideous to show…………….