Sunday, 5 October 2014

Church on Sunday...St.Hilaire de Mer

We happened upon the church of St. Hilaire as we passed through the small town of Mer (nowhere near the sea) on our way to Beaugency recently. Its striking 35 mtr high Gothic style 16th century bell tower is hard to miss.

There was a priory church on this site in the 12th century The nave with its two side chapels was rebuilt in the 15th century, it ends with a three-sided apse

From the outside it appears quite a narrow building but once you step inside you are immediately taken by how wide it feels!

The side chapels.

The rather ornately carved pulpit.

There is a rather flamboyant wooden side altar.


It has a  wonderful wood panelled vaulted ceiling fitted out in 1700...

...and some pretty windows.

The baptismal font with luxury carpet - nice touch!

Where's Joan?...see near to her greatest victory sadly she doesn't get a mention!

As you look down towards the back of the church it is easy to see the offset door of the bell tower...

...why the bell tower is offset to the rest of the church I'm not sure exactly, plus the history is a bit unclear. If the bell tower is from the 16th century then it was built after the nave was rebuilt in the 15th (?)


Found this copy of postcard which purports to date from the 1900s showing a taller central nave

When you look at one side of the tower you can see where it was attached to to another building but only only on this side!

Just makes the church that little more interesting.

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