Liste des sites du Pays de Caux

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(canton du Havre, Seine-Maritime)

Priory church of Graville-Sainte-Honorine

    The priory church of Sainte-Honorine has come in for a great many modifications since it was built in c. 1100. The chancel was rebuilt in the 13th century. Its south front tower was destroyed during the Hundred Years War and the building was further damaged during the bombing raids of 1944.
The nave has only a two-storey elevation typical of Norman churches, with a large arcade and tall windows. The cruciform piers of the large arcade are alternately strong and weak: every other bay, a demi-column rises from the bottom up to a level with the tall windows. Neither the central vessel nor the side-aisles are vaulted. On the north side, we find gadrooned or two-tiered capitals. On the south side, they are nearly all figurative in low relief carving reminiscent of Saint-Georges de Boscherville.
The two transept arms are clearly projecting. Slightly narrower than the nave, the crossing is bounded by a fairly low arcade with moulded arches decorated with geometrical patterns. One may suppose it to have been originally topped by a lantern tower; the groin vault screening out the light from the tower bays is probably a later addition.
The west base, now in ruins, had a porch between two towers, and over the porch, two gallery levels, as at JumiŤges. The north arm of the transept on the outside is the most remarkable feature. The upper section of its walls is lined with semicircular blind arcades which are interwoven to form pointed arches, with spandrels and tympana in reticulated bond. The plain moulding underlining the springing of the gable rests on a frieze decorated with fantastic and animal motifs alternating with geometrical patterns. The gable, with two blind bay openings and the base again in reticulated bond, is itself bonded with stones ornamented with lozenge and chequered patterns.

Henry DecaŽns


- Musset, Lucien. - Normandie romane, tome II, p. 194-201. Zodiaque : Sainte-Marie de la Pierre-qui-Vire, 1974