There is some evidence in a dusty local archive, that way back in the 12th century, the Hillside was the site of a religious ‘paroisse’, the French version of our word ‘parish’. This could mean quite simply that a lone monk lived up here in contemplative seclusion or that he had fellow monks and a small monastery, or some other religious building.
Although we have no physical evidence of this ancient parish, the atmosphere here is certainly very special and fits perfectly with the idea of a place of spiritual contemplation. We are also in an area surrounded by churches dating from this period, the pilgrimage route of Santiago de Compostela, or Saint Jacques de Compostele as he’s known round these parts, having passed right through the region and quite possibly by our front door.
I had occasion to visit another extraordinary 12th century church during the week, this time in a local town and although the urban setting didn’t quite match the beautiful village setting of last week’s example, the architecture and the incredible door of the church of Saint Denis de Montmoreau soon had me clicking away with my camera for my Thursday Doors post. The ancient oak door is massive and the beautiful ironwork, all curlicues and rosettes, along with some remarkable stone decoration is quite breathtaking………….
Thanks as always to Norm for hosting this excellent challenge.
ALL PHOTOS © JANE MORLEY
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