retour au pays du Bessin cliquez ici pour consulter l'album photographique Saint-Gabriel-Brécy
(Canton of Creully, Calvados)


   The priory of Saint-Gabriel was founded in 1058 by the abbey of Fécamp. The oldest vestiges belong to the priory church, which was rebuilt in c. 1140. The nave and transept were razed to the ground in 1749. Only the choir remains which is now disused. The large dimensions of these remains bear witness to the prosperity of the priory and the intention of the monks of Fécamp to make it an autonomous monastery.
The choir with two bays, flanked by aisles, ends in an apse. The side elevation presents three levels: large arches, false galleries and high windows. The austere exterior contrasts with the great richness of the interior, which covers a large part of the walls. The decorative repertoire which is mainly geometrical, is very varied: with crenelated fretted designs, chevrons, billets, and interlacing, for example. Three reliefs are also worthy of note, two figuring a bishop and the last a lion. This richness of decoration, which was new to Normandy, probably had its origins in relations with the English sites of the many possessions of the Abbey of Fécamp.


- Baylé, Maylis. - L’architecture normande au Moyen-Age, Condé-sur-Noireau : éditions Charles Corlet, Caen : Presses universitaires de Caen, 1997, vol. 2, p. 82 à 84
- Musset, Lucien. " Le prieuré de Saint-Gabriel ", dans Art de basse-Normandie, n° 3, Automne 1956, p. 7 à 11
- Musset, Lucien. - Normandie romane, Zodiaque, La Pierre-Qui-Vire, 1987, T. I, p. 124 à 127, p. 253
- Les siècles romans en Basse-Normandie, Art de Basse-Normandie, n° 92, Printemps 1985, p.113, 130