Ardenne, Monastery of

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Abbey of premonstratensians near Caen, Normandy, Diocese of bayeux, dedicated to the Blessed Virgin. Founded as a cell of hermits by a certain Gilbert (1138) and endowed by Aiulph du Four, it was traded to the Premonstratensian abbey of La Luzerne by Bp. Philip de Harcourt of Bayeux (1144). In 1150 it became an abbey, with 16 churches and chapels eventually, receiving papal confirmation in 1161. One of the richest Premonstratensian houses in France, it received, after 1507, commendatory abbots. Wars and the rapacity of abbots afflicted it in the 17th century, when its annual revenue was 17,800 livres. In 1629 it joined the Reformed Congregation of Lorraine. When it was suppressed (1790), its abbot was an Englishman, Edward Booth. Its many buildings were standing a century ago, but the destruction of World War II left only the Gothic church (14th15th century), a 13th-century tithe barn, a Gothic gatehouse, and parts of the monastery. The church, which was used as a barn in 1944, is in the process of being restored.

Bibliography: e. ringard, "Les Origines de l'Ordre de Prémontré en Normandie: Recherches sur la filiation des abbayes de la Luzerne et d'Ardenne," Analecta Praemonstratensia 2 (1926) 159177. l. h. cottineau, Répertoire topobibliographique des abbayes et prieurés, 2 v. (Mâcon 193539) 1:893. m. prevost, Dictionnaire d'histoire et de géographie ecclésiastiques, ed. a. baudrillart et al. (Paris 1912) 3:160204. n. backmund, Monasticon Praemonstratense, 3 v. (Straubing 194956) 3:3336.

[n. backmund]