The Prieuré de Grammont is a small but superbly preserved rural priory which was founded by Richard the Lionheart in the year 1196. It can be discovered off the beaten track in the peaceful Vendée countryside of the Bas bocage just off the road from Chantonnay to Pouzauges in the small village of St-Prouant.
In the priory you will find a chapel along with monastic buildings, chapterhouse, refectory, kitchens and even a serving hatch and rooms for guests.
It was in this priory that 10 monks of the Grandmont (Grammont) order took solemn vows of poverty, chastity and humility and existed on a meagre near vegan diet of only bread with fruit and vegetables. The monks inhabited the priory up until the end of the 17th century. After their departure, the priory fell into disuse and as it was deconsecrated and used for many years as farm buildings. It did however manage to escape the frequent destruction of religious buildings during the war years.
In the priory you will be impressed by the priory’s architecture with the rooms being gathered round a central square cloister.
The pillars and arches of the chapter house are also srikingly elegant.
You will also learn about the daily life of the monks – the visitor is treated to a video presentation and a special 3-D exhibition of images of the Grandmont treasures. The priory is normally open between June and mid September.
Classical music concerts featuring notable artists are held in the chapel in the priory between the spring and the autumn