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(canton of Mont-Saint-Aignan, Seine-Maritime)

Church of Saint-Jacques

    At the beginning of the 12th century the regular canons of Saint-Augustin founded a priory dedicated to saint Jacques, at the top of a hill dominating Rouen, in order to accommodate the lepers wishing to follow the canonical rule; this welcome was rapidly extended to the lepers of the 21 parishes of Rouen and the hill assumed the name of Mont-aux-Malades ('the Mount of the Sick') which it has retained. The church of Saint-Jacques is the first church of this priory; in1174, the priory having been established around a new church, dedicated to saint Thomas of Canterbury, Saint-Jacques became the parish church of the village which had been created since the arrival of the canons. The church was sold in 1793, and was more or less used since then until its vestiges were re-purchased by the commune in 1969.
The tower, choir and aisles of the church disappeared at various periods. Currently all that remains are the four spans of the central section of the nave whose elevation is on two levels, with large arches and high windows. The spans are articulated by engaged columns rising from the base of the pillars up to the exposed framework structure. This is a bare structure, but one a great purity of line, and is very indicative of the Norman art of the first third of the 12th century.

Henry DecaŽns

Bibliography

- Musset, Lucien. - Normandie romane, 2. Haute-Normandie, La Pierre-qui-Vire, Zodiaque, 1974, p. 32