Day 17 of my Normandy Advent Calendar in which I share some of my favourite things about Normandy. Hambye abbey was founded in 1145 and was a Benedictine monastery. It prospered in the 13th century but gradually slowly slid into a decline. The last monks left the monastery several years before the start of the French revolution. The abbey was then put up for sale and the outlying buildings used for agricultural purposes. Sadly stone from the church was quarried from 1810 onwards and the majority of the cloister was dismantled. In the early 20th century it was listed as an ancient monument, bought privately and has been the subject of a huge restoration project. Although the church is partly ruined, the magnificent pillars remain and the architecture is still breathtaking. Many of the adjacent monastic buildings including the refectory, dormitory, kitchen and chapter house remain intact. Well worth a visit.
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