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(canton of Sainte-Mère-Eglise, Manche)

Church of Saint-Hilaire

    The choir was rebuilt in the 14th century and the nave in the 18th or possibly even the 19th century. Above all the church has one of the finest Romanesque towers in the Manche département (3rd quarter of the 12th century).
A narrow door gives access on the ground floor. Its archivolt is decorated with a range of bird’s heads biting a torus (beak heads), a frequent ornament in the Bessin region, and a lintel with a four-leaf pattern inscribed in lozenges. This decorative motif however is found nowhere else but is reproduced here on a larger scale above the door. On the right a bas relief under an arcade represents a saint bishop - saint Vigor of Bayeux - giving a blessing with his right hand and with his other hand using his cross to overcome a serpent which coils at his feet.
The square base of the tower is bare but the upper level is pierced by two large linked bays with triple roll resting on small columns. A long narrow column softens each of the corners of the tower. The parapet and pitched roof are mostly from a late period.
The central span which supports the tower within the church, consists of Romanesque pillars with varied decoration, including geometric, animal, and foliage patterns, and a six part ogives crossing whose strong ribs descend onto clusters of small columns.

Bernard Beck


- Musset, Lucien : " Brucheville ", in Normandie Romane, t.1 ; Editions du Zodiaque, La Pierre-qui-Vire, 1967
- Since, Marie-Hélène : " Brucheville ", in Art roman dans l'est du Cotentin, Art de Basse-Normandie, n° 68, 1976