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 Near Notre-Dame de la Chapelle, in an old suburb of Abbeville named Thu i son ( Thuyson in those distant times) , stand the remains of a beautiful building with a very busy history. This building was initially a Templar Commandery   before being a convent belonging to the Carthusian Order.

This convent, dedicated to Saint-Honoré was founded in 1300 by Edward I, King of England and Count of Ponthieu and Guillaume de Macon, Bishop of Amiens on the grounds of a house housing the Templars of Abbeville and surroundings. They had to desert the city following the dissolution of the Templar Order by the pope   Cl é ment V (see "Abbeville and the Order of the Temple").
Several times destroyed, it was restored each time by generous donors until the outbreak of the Revolution.

After this and the dispersion of the Carthusian community, the house itself with the cells and the church was destroyed. The remaining buildings become by turns glassware, linen spinning etc.
From this establishment, there remains only the monumental door and a body of brick and stone building.

chartreuse google 1.jpg

      I. The Carthusian Order

          A- The Order


The Community of Grande Chartreuse was founded in 1084 by Saint Bruno and six other companions in the Chartreuse massif north of Grenoble, in the Isère. This community is   officially   became the Carthusian Order in 1140, after the death of Bruno in Calabria, after being called by Urban II
Even today, the mother house and current monastery is "La Grande Chartreuse" located in Saint-Pierre de Chartreuse (38) and the Prior General   is Dysmas Lassus, French monk born in 1956.   

His coat of arms has a globe surmounted by a cross surrounded by seven stars with the following motto   :   "   Stat crux dum volvitur orbis   "(The cross remains while the earth turns)

The various wars of religion have greatly affected the Order which was forced to close the majority of its houses. During the Revolution, the Carthusians were considered rich, living from their agricultural and forestry work, metallurgical etc. outside of their drastic life made of praises, prayers and various fasts.
In 1791-1792, the majority of French homes were sold as national property: it was the case that of Thuyson -lès-Abbeville.

          B- The Carthusians

The existence of the Carthusians is divided between prayers, meditation and work. It is an essentially contemplative life. To "free" their soul from materialization, they inflict hard deprivations on their bodies Fasts and mortifications are very common. Vegetarians, they respect with the greatest rigor the fasts of Lent and Advent.
At the head of each monastery is a Prior who directs the community both spiritually and temporally and materially. He watches over the salvation of religious and enjoys great authority inside his convent subject to the control of the "General Chapter" who visits him   every two years .

The Carthusian is wearing a long white woolen dress tight at the waist with a white leather belt. On this dress a scapular formed of two pieces of fabric gathered around the neck by a hood, connected to each other halfway by two bands thus giving the shape of a cross.

                          costume chartreux face.JPG                                            costume chartreux profil.JPG                                             costume chartreux dos.JPG


      II. The chartreuse of Saint-Honoré in Thuison

              A-The foundation

     The bishop of Amiens Guillaume de Mâcon is a great admirer of the Carthusian Order and wishes to endow his diocese with one of these houses of the children of Saint Bruno as they are also called, in a remote and isolated place of the city where prayer and meditation are married to the serenity of the place . 
He bought with the consent of Philippe Le Bel, King of France, in June 1299 the feudal land of Bouveresse near Grandvilliers. Unfortunately, the Reverend Father Dom Boson, "   General   "The Carthusians, refused to recognize this land because it deems it inappropriate, the ground being sterile, water missing and civilization too close to the project site. All this is contrary to their principles. 
The bishop of Amiens did not abandon his plan to bring back the Carthusians in his diocese and bought in 1300 to the Templars their home Faubourg Thuison Abbeville. Gerard de Villars, Master of the Knights Templar of France gives to Guillaume de Mâcon house, chapel, barn, cressonnière and dependencies belonging until then to the Knights Templar. The Confirmation of Assignment Charter is dated 1302, two years later, it is indeed necessary to obtain the approval of the general visitor of the Temple militia to confirm this surrender and it takes a lot of time.

     The Templar house was built on the slope of a hill below which flows the Novion . Far away from the heart of the city, the buildings are still somewhat degraded and the Sainte Marguerite chapel majestically overhangs the whole. This would be, according to a manuscript found in La Grande Chartreuse oldest of the county of Ponthieu. 
Guillaume de Mâcon razes the buildings in ruins and rebuilds the monastery then gives all to the Order of the Carthusians after acceptance of the General. This monastery is then dedicated to Saint-Honoré after construction in 1307 of a church with high warheads and bell tower overlooking the buildings   : the Saint-Honoré church. 
On the north side of this church was the old Templar Chapel (Sainte Marguerite) and the first entrance courtyard gave access to the sanctuary reserved for women. I will not detail all these buildings, it would be too long but we must recognize that we can only admire the harmony of the whole giving the convent the appearance of a fortified enclosure.

The convent was consecrated in 1307, the church was consecrated in honor of God and placed under the special patronage of Saint-Honoré, bishop of Amiens, son of Aymeric, count of Ponthieu who dedicated his life to evangelization populations of Picardy . 
Guillaume de Mâcon will prove his attachment to the Chartreux of Thuison until his death on May 19, 1308. In his will, he bequeaths half of his property to the "   Chartreuse of Saint-Honoré in Thuison -lès-Abbeville   ". 
The Carthusians will never forget their generous founder and, to bear witness to their eternal gratitude, they adopt as their coat of arms the bishop's own weapons "   Gold sand pockmarked face Azure e three flowers of gold lily   ".


      From benefactors to donors, from priors to priors, the monastery lives from donations and their cultures, their vineyards, their breeding on the Bouvaque , their craftsmanship for more than four centuries. 
Then comes the Revolution ...

     B- The monastery   : a haven of peace until the Revolution

      At the Battle of Crecy in 1346, Preamble of the Hundred Years War between Philip VI of Valois and Edward III of England, Count of Ponthieu, chartreuse suffered a lot of hostilities, taxes and other charges imposed by the crown 'England. The English wanted to seize the city and invaded the walls of the convent causing a lot of damage. At the ford of Blanquetaque where they were victors, then leaving for Crécy, the English sowed ruins and desolation on their way, even under the ramparts of Abbeville. The community was reduced to misery after the fatal battle.

              In 1374, the English army invaded Ponthieu still in search of spoils and ravages the whole county. The Carthusians cultivated their lands composed of vineyards on the hill overlooking the convent and possessed many herds grazing below the Bouvaque , which was their main source of income. Now the passage of enemies devastating their flocks and their crops left them in utter destitution. 
It is the Prior Dom Anche de Vauvert which redesigns somewhat the blazon of the   convent late fourteenth century. At his death in 1404, the estate is almost back to normal.

              We arrive in the sixteenth century and the monastery of Saint-Honoré has kept its original soul despite everything , and staged on the banks of the Novion . Resuming its monastic life and its cultures, away from any civilization and any swirling shaking the city of Abbeville in its vicinity, the convent does not suffer too much until the mid-eighteenth century.
The large entrance of the monastery, facing North is opposite Notre-Dame de la Chapelle.

Beyond this door, a first courtyard where the   ladies' parlor   Where the religious received the female members of their families, the women not having the right to go beyond the fence. Near this parlor, the Sainte-Marguerite chapel, majestically preserved with its Gothic arches and ogival windows of Templar inspiration, was intended for women's prayers. Passing the door, we arrive in the main courtyard with on one side the apartments for foreigners and on the other the small cloister and chapel families ( monks). At the far end was the charming Saint Honoré church with its bell tower overlooking the whole monastery. 
The clock tower, symbol of the Carthusian monks, is at the end of the church, south corner, near the sanctuary adjoining the cloister. 


In the church, the famous altarpiece of the Life of the Virgin (moved after the Revolution in the Church of St. Paul), divided into three compartments (see "   the altarpiece of the Virgin   ") And initially closed by shutters that unfortunately no longer exist.


      The portal of this church, a magnificent specimen of Gothic architecture of the fifteenth century was surrounded by powerful buttresses on which stood a high statue bearing the image of Saint Bruno , the founder of the Order. 
Along the church stretched the north side of the large cloister in the shape of a parallelogram built on a slope so that the south side came along the edge of the river Novion . 
In the yard of the great cloister stood the community cemetery where several generations of monks rest. A large and unique cross of stone brings them rest. During the Revolution, this great cross is sacked and the obituary where the names of all the buried brothers are inscribed is reduced to smoke, annihilating several centuries of history and archives.

Separated from other buildings and outbuildings including farmyard, stables, stables etc. was the brewery of the Carthusian brothers placed closer to the river.

              Thus passed the life of the Carthusian brothers almost until the Revolution. 

Indeed, on November 2, 1773, a serious accident shakes the city of Abbeville. By the imprudence of an artillery guard named   The Stammerer   The powder magazine located at the Marcadé bastion explodes.The damage is considerable, 967 houses were damaged and 67 destroyed, the Saint Paul church is strongly affected, 150 dead and 130 injured are to be deplored . The chartreuse suffers strongly and many damages are caused. While it undergoes important works of renovation, these are stopped in order to repair the added damages and this, in spite of the lack of resources which begins to be cruelly felt.Nevertheless, the Saint-Honoré church is restored in 1774.

          C-  Revolutionary turmoil and death   of the convent.

      The chartreuse is still in full works and the main work ends in 1787. As in any monastery, the "children of Saint Bruno" did not care about the torments of political life, recluse in the recollection and the prayer. They were far from sensing the terrible catastrophe that was about to break out in France.

The National Assembly begins by attacking the ecclesiastical hierarchy, the Pope, the bishops and then the priests and monks. The church becomes "the scourge of the Nation" in the eyes of an ignorant crowd.At the beginning of 1789, more than twenty houses of the Faubourg Thuison burned. The Carthusians, devoted to their devotion, do not hesitate to give shelter to the unfortunate for several months, bringing them shelter and shelter. Unfortunately, it was the least of the worries of the Revolutionaries not shrinking from any crime, no ruin. Aware, the Prior, Dom Benoît Hemay is deeply concerned for his monastery and the future of his community.

On November 2, 1789, the Assembly decreed that all property belonging to the clergy be made available to the Nation. This means that to seize convents, monasteries and other abbeys, it was necessary to expropriate in a systematic way the religious, even to designate them outside the law. In 1790, the Assembly decided to abolish the religious orders and charged the municipalities to appropriate the properties and revenues of the monasteries in their respective territories.

Thus, realizing that their property and their dear monastery would be confiscated and requisitioned, that everything for what they had fought would be wiped out that the brothers decided to disappear one by one, leaving behind this past and without that nobody knows the future.

The chartreuse closed its doors definitively on May 24, 1791.

The Revolutionaries seize it and leave the solitary monks to their pain , now immersed in a hectic life in the midst of a people in delirium.

              III. From the Revolution to today

      Monastery property   : farms, houses, mills, woods, lands, vineyards, meadows located in Thuison , Saint- Milfort , Val d'Abbeville, Bouvaque , Laviers , Menchecourt etc. were auctioned from 1790 until the end of 1792. 
The art objects are scattered. The altarpiece of the Virgin goes to the church of St. Paul (it is now preserved at the Museum Boucher de Perthes), the pulpit of the fifteenth century arrives at Notre Dame de la Chapelle.

The municipality of Abbeville then plans to buy the convent to transfer the hotel-Dieu. The transaction took place July 7, 1791. But the expenses are considerable, the buildings do not lend themselves to it and the project is finally abandoned .

              In 1793, the buildings are again on sale. The citizens Sanson and Gronecheld acquire it. Unfortunately in 1796, Sanson decided to cut down purely and simply the part of the pretty Chartreuse coming back to him from the Saint-Honoré church, the cloisters and the conventual buildings.

              In 1804, what remains of the property is sold to Sieur Deray and in December 1811 to Louis Adrien Royer, director of the glassworks of Romesnil (Seine Inférieure). We are talking about the Thuisonglass factory . In 1831, one of the partners went bankrupt and brought the glassworks to liquidation. Competitive glassmakers will acquire it in 1832 ... to remove it.

              A little later, there is the trace of a spinning flax held by Mr. Henri Gavelle which runs until 1877.

filature macqueron.JPG


On this watercolor above, a smoking fireplace allows to realize the industrialization of the remaining buildings. We have trouble recognizing the religious and rural aspect of the place, if only by the presence of the two huts contiguous. The background reminds us of the veracity of the places with the collegiate church and the various churches of the city, the windmills of the Caubert Mountains .

              Until 1910, the places will be more or less abandoned then the buildings are bought and divided into three dwellings that will occupy individuals. We find traces of three separate dwellings as early as 1922 and a more secluded dwelling, a small street in Thuison , occupied by Mr. Macqueron . In 1924, a certain M. Mariage, a brewer, occupied one of the dwellings which the in-laws of the present owner bought in 1926. 
These buildings were requisitioned by the Germans during the Second World War to house the officer soldiers leaving the inhabitants small secondary rooms. All this means that the buildings did not suffer too much during this period. But the house Macqueron is in a sorry state today.

              Nowadays , the monumental gateway still remains and remains the historical emblem of the troubled past of the Thuyson Charterhouse .

Thank you to the current owner of one of the houses that allowed me to meet her and share with me some of her living environment and her story

Creation date : 11/12/2016 16:12
Category : Heritage - Monuments
Page read 12249 times

Reactions to this article

Reaction #5 

by Clementine_MARQUANT 05/09/2023 15:06


Je vous remercie pour cette article, 

Mes ancêtres ont vécu dedans M. Maurice Henri Fernand VERDUN y est né en 1904.


Reaction #2 

by Daulny 16/04/2018 13:15


Je souhaite vous remercier pour l'article.

Ayant vécu justement au 44 grande rue de thuison  pendant ma jeunesse de 1991 à 2005.

Avec mes parent nous occupions un des logements qui aurait appartenu au chef patriarche

Je savais les batiments marque d'histoire et je reconnais bien la l'aspect de la verrerie.

Enfant je jouer souvent dans la partie de la butte sous la grotte la où les pierres sont rester marquer de leur vestige avec une couche de verre sur la pierre.

Le propiétaire de l'époque m'a raconter un peu de sont histoire à l'époque avec les écurie parti que lui occuper aprés renovation.

cette endroit et remplie de mes souvenir d'enfance et avec regret aujourdhui le portail reste clos à l'époque celui étais ouvert et nombreux passant entrer dans la cour pour prendre photo du vestige.

encore merci d'avoir fait perdurer  l'histoire de cette batisse.

Reaction #1 

by Jean-Jacques_Becquet 12/03/2018 19:08

Bonjour. Pourquoi écrire "Thuison" avec un y? Serait-ce l'orthographe ancienne?

"appartenant à l'ordre des chartreux": est-on certain que les monastères appartenaient à l'ordre? Ne faudrait-il pas dire: "relevant de l'ordre des chartreux".

"remettre à flot" (au singulier) se dit pour un bateau. Même de façon imagée, c'est étrange pour un monastère...

Le choix du sujet est bienvenu en effet. Ce sont des questions de formulation et de rédaction qui se posent parfois. C'est si difficile.

Bravo pour l'entreprise.



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