Chateau de Lacypierre and the church

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Vieux St-Crepin is signed off D56 from St-Crepin. A narrow lane leads to Château de Lacypierre and the church. It is a delightful setting with a few honey coloured stone houses with steep stone roofs, a small lavoir and a fountain. All we could hear was bird song and crickets.

The church has a Presbytery built on the south wall. On the north side is the graveyard and we were intrigued that several tombs had greenhouses around them.

The square bell tower has an open arcade below the pointed stone tile roof. There is a simple wooden door at the west end with an empty trefoil window and a small round window above that. Inside a modern wooden spiral staircase leads up to a balcony.

The roof is wood. Pointed arches on either side of the nave lead into the lower side aisles. These were added later as they don’t line up with older arches on the wall above or the windows. These have an internal flying buttress in the form of a round arch between the pillar and the wall for extra strength. The chancel is much narrower and has a pointed chancel arch. On the south wall is a carved wooden pulpit. This had been reached by a stairway at the back of the wall to a small doorway into the back of the pulpit. This has now gone and there is a small archway containing a statue of St Theresa.

At the ed of the south aisle is a very ramshackle old altar and reredos. In its day it had been very grand with carvings on the corners of the altar, IHS in the centre and gilded host box with painted panels on either side. Now it is gently collapsing.

Steps lead up into the chancel with free standing stone altar with pillars on the base and a carving of the Lamb. Above are three transitional style windows with modern glass with St Martialis in the centre with St Joseph on the right and St Crispin on the left.

On the back wall is a wooden crucifix. On the north wall is the remains of the processional banner with an embroidered Virgin and Child with painted paper faces and arms. There is a memorial to the dead of World War one with 20 names and a statue of Joan of Arc beside it. Below is the memorial for World War two with just two names.

Château de Lacypierre is a charming stone building built between 15 and 17thC with a central hexagonal tower with a pointed roof supported on corbels and a square tower. There is free access to the grounds and a guided tour on Wednesday and Friday afternoons in the summer.

The main building has an old sundial and an archway into a small porch with an exhibition about the château. Steps lead up to a small doorway in the hexagonal tower, with a small shied carved above. This has a small balcony with a stone balustrade to the main building. Chimneys are square and have a stone cover resting on small stone supports. Dormer windows have globes at the corner and on top.

Off the tourist traail with nothing to bring the tourist here, it is a delightful spot; the kind of place to drop out.

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