Friday, 18 October 2019

Le Paradis Perdu

On a recent wander from Preuilly we encountered Paradis. It appears to have been quite grand at one time, with a large stone entry gateway and a structure that with the eye of faith could have been a chapel (or more likely, a barn).

It's easy to speculate that le Paradis was monastic, because some of the nearby properties also have very monastic names: Villejesus and La Commanderie would seem to indicate one of the knightly orders held territory in the area. One has to speculate, because I can find nothing to say what the building was, when it was built, and when it because a ruin. It is marked on the Carte de l'état-major, but not named.

Across the track (once the main road from Preuilly to Bossay) the intersection is marked by a cross, which would seem to indicate it was an important crossraods. The existing cross looks 19th century, but could have replaced a much older cross - the track had been supplanted in its role as a main road at about that time.


Ricks Carson, Atlanta said...

Reminds me of the ruins of the collégiale on the property of the Chateau du Lion in Preuilly. The present chateau was built on the site of an earlier chateau, which was built over a medieval monastery. In the 1970s the owners, John and Gurney Campbell, were renovating the chateau and needed to shore up the SE corner, which was tending toward collapsing of the edge of the butte. The solution was to pour concrete into the earth under that corner, which was unstable because under the present foundations, they discovered ancient stone walls of the monks' dortoir. I know this because I was working at and living in (sans electricity and running water) the chateau when this underground architecture was discovered. Its arches were Romanesque. Unfortunately these features are imbedded in tons of concrete now. I urged the owners (unsuccessfully) to install a plexiglass floor of some kind in the dining room above the spot, and subfloor lighting to reveal the ancient features.

Susan said...

What a marvellous anecdote! I wonder if the current owners know about the discovery?! It's still the current practice to simply pour gallons of concrete into voids under foundations when modern renovations are being done -- too much time and money involved in doing anything else.

The current owners have put a roof on the chapel. It is in rather controversial terracotta coloured metal sheets, but approved by Batiment de France.

Post a comment