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(Canton of Creully, Calvados)

Church of Saint-Pierre

   The church of Saint-Pierre in Thaon was built in a location now isolated from the village but whose archaeology has revealed traces of occupation from the early middle ages. The oldest part of the church is the base of the tower which is probably contemporary with the great abbeys of Caen (1070/1080). The two-bay choir with a flat chevet is a later construction which does not fully respect the alignment with the tower. The nave is five bays long whose lower sections were demolished in the beginning of the 18th century and the arches walled. Their decoration, inside the nave, is characteristic of the tendency towards richness in ornamentation in the period of the 1120s/1130s, as in the church of the neighbouring priory of Saint-Gabriel-Brécy. The external elevations present a decoration of arch friezes which were common in churches in the first third of the 12th century (Courcy, Beaumais). One remarkable decorative element is a billets motif in slight relief arranged in a continuous carpet over all the free space in the upper part of the south wall of the nave. It can be compared to the basketwork motifs on the walls of Bayeux cathedral, whose contemporary site may well have influenced that of Thaon. Thaon church was also part of the dependency of the chapter of Bayeux cathedral at this time..


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