Airvault, Monastery of
AIRVAULT, MONASTERY OF
Former monastery of Canons Regular of St. Augustine in the Diocese of poitiers, west central France. It was founded as a collegiate chapter c. 991 by Audéarde (d. c. 1013) and reformed with Augustinian canons from Lesterp by Bp. Peter II of Poitiers (1087–1115). It declined and was impoverished by the Hundred Years' War; the conventual buildings were destroyed in the Wars of Religion (1568). In 1477 the first commendatory abbot appeared, and by 1546 Airvault was definitely in commendation. The community of 12 canons, appointed by the abbot, joined none of the reform congregations of canons in the 17th century. The suppression ordered in 1768 by the commission of regulars was not enforced, and the canons continued their services in the church of St-Pierre until 1791. The 11th-century church, redone in the 13th century, now serves a parish.
Bibliography: l. h. cottineau, Répertoire topobibliographique des abbayes et prieurés, 2 v. (Mâcon 1935–39) 1:39. p. de monsabert, Dictionnaire d'histoire et de géographie ecclésiastiques, ed. a. baudrillart et al. (Paris 1912–) 1:1219–23. h. beauchet-filleau, "Recherches sur Airvault: Son château et son abbaye," Memoires de la Société des antiquaries de l'Ouest, 24 (1857) 177–369. j. berthelÉ, "Les Voûtes Plantagenet des êglises d'Airvault et de St. Jouin," Revue poitevine et Saintongeaise, 4 (Melle 1887) 1–15.