A little history of Saint-Benoît chapel in Argenton-sur-Creuse

The chevetThe chevet | ©Anecdotrip.com / CC-BY-NC-SA

The chapel

Raised on the left bank of river Creuse, at the bottom of the medieval Upper city, the chapel dates back to the beginning of the 16th century.

Two men founded it: Antoine Barbault, prior of Saint-Marcel between 1484 and 1522 and Louis Bourbon de Montpensier, lord of Argenton.

It was a small and simple chapel, with a single nave and diagonal ribs.

Here, we have a fine instance of transition between Gothic and Renaissance style!

We notice a beautiful High Gothic portal, but above all on the façade a pretty statue of Virgin Mary with baby Jesus, in a niche.

She comes from a destroyed house from the city: a copy from the 17th century!

The original dates back to 1485, the city hall keeps it preciously. The sentence on the pedestal says: ″Jesus, savior of Men, hail Mary″.

Sold during the French Revolution in 1793, the chapel was transformed into a barn.

Local architect Alfred Dauvergne restored it in 1873.

But the explosion of the Old city bridge in 1940 damaged it a lot…

Stained-glass windows were re-made by the glass-maker Chigot from Limoges.

Chestnut shingles on the bell-tower were restored in 1966.

The collège

It dates back to the 16th century. The collège was the priests accommodation.

Besides, do you see that? We find on the collège’s façade Barbault’s coat of arms, holding by two angels… like on the chapel’s front!

In the polygonal tower, we have a staircase.

In 1782, the dwelling house was transformed into a jail: we still see bars on the windows!