Liste des sites du roumois

cliquez ici pour consulter l'album photographique Mont-Saint-Aignan
(canton of Mont-Saint-Aignan, Seine-Maritime)

Church of St Thomas of Canterbury

    The history of the second church of the priory of the Mont-aux-Malades is inextricably linked to that of Saint Thomas of Canterbury. When he was chancellor to Henri II Plantagenêt, Thomas Becket came to Rouen and became friends with the prior of the Mont-aux-Malades. Relations between the king and the individual who had become archbishop of Canterbury then deteriorated significantly. The epilogue was the assassination of Thomas Becket in his cathedral in 1170. Having been served an interdiction, Henri II reconciled himself with the Church at Avranches, two years later. Following the canonisation of Thomas Becket, he embarked upon an expiatory pilgrimage to Canterbury in 1174. This was the same year in which he had built a new priory on the Mont-aux-Malades, and a new church, one of the first to be dedicated to saint Thomas of Canterbury.
The building consists of a Romanesque nave with five spans, preceded by a neo-gothic tower and a choir, which also has five spans, culminating in a flat chevet. Only the first four spans of the choir are Romanesque. The whole is flanked by aisles from the 14th and 15th centuries. The large arches descend onto mono-cylindrical piers which are relatively thin, whose capitals are soberly decorated with foliage patterns or stylised almond motifs. Above the large arches a series of un-decorated Romanesque windows open. Despite the late period of its construction, the building was probably not vaulted but simply covered with an exposed framework structure.

Henry Decaëns


- Deschamps, R. - La paroisse Saint-Jacques et l'église Saint-Thomas de Cantorbéry du Mont-aux-Malades. Rouen, 1941
- Langlois, P. - Histoire du prieuré du Mont-aux-Malades. Rouen, 1858