Bonneval Abbey

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Bonneval Abbey
Established 857
Current Status Active
Building Style Pre-1854 Plans
Location Bonneval, Eure-et-Loir
Architecture Style Early Renaissance style
Alternate Names
  • St. Florentinus' Abbey
  • Centre Hospitalier Henry Ey


Bonneval Abbey had been a Benedictine abbey founded in 857 by Foulques, a knight under the auspices of Charles of Provence, great-grandson of Charlemagne. The monastery took its widely known name, Florentinus, from local Catholic saints whose relics had been transferred there.

In 911, the abbey was attacked by the Normans and burned down. It was not until fifty years later that it had been rebuilt with the support of Eudes, son of Thibaut the Cheat.

The next two hundred years were considered the high point for the Abby after royal protection from King Louis VI. However, the Hundred Years War was devastating to the site. In 1420, King Henry V, King of England, attacked and burned it down. It was not until the fifteenth century that René d’Illiers, Bishop of Chartres, rebuilt a portion of the site. However, it was not long after that the Protestants burned it down again.

During the French revolution, the abbey's property and premises were declared a national asset and the remaining buildings sold to a businessman who installed a thread-making factory and later a carpet factory. Then in 1845 it was turned into an orphanage for abandoned children. Finally, in 1861 the site became the lunatic asylum for the department of Eure-et-Loir.

Most of the surviving buildings now accommodate the psychiatric hospital. The hospital was later renamed the Centre Hospitalier Henry Ey after the distinguished psychiatrist Henry Ey (1900–1977), who had been its director for many years. [1]

Images of Bonneval Abbey

Main Image Gallery: Bonneval Abbey Image Gallery