Liste des sites du roumois

Saint-Wandrille-Ranšon
(Canton of Caudebec-en-Caux, Seine-Maritime)

Chapel of Saint-Saturnin

    In the woods that dominate the north of the abbey of Saint-Wandrille rises a marvellous Romanesque chapel dedicated to saint Saturnin. Like the church of Saint-Germain in Querqueville (Manche), this chapel has a very original trefoil ground plan: the choir and the two wings of the transept are made up of apses of the same height with a semi-circular barrel vault. A small lantern tower with a square ground plan rises at the crossing topped by a framework spire. The rectangular nave, which is fairly short, is also covered with a visible framework.

Narrow fairly splayed windows light up the interior volume of the building. The walls are made of small limestone rubble stones, more generally arranged in opus spicatum (a fish bone pattern). There is no decoration apart from the transoms of the piers of the crossing where interlacing patterns, foliage friezes and fantastical animal motifs are sculpted; these elements could have been re-used from another building.

This venerable sanctuary replaced (probably in the 11th century) a chapel built on the same site by saint Wandrille (in the 7th century) and which possibly already had the same ground plan. This would explain the archaistic feature of the trefoil ground plan of this chapel.

Henry DecaŰns

Bibliography

- Musset Lucien, Normandie romane. - Sainte-Marie de la Pierre-qui-Vire :Zodiaque, 1974. - Tome II, 1974, p. 259-260.