Plan

A long 10-bay aisled nave is terminated to the west by a baroque frontispiece. In the nave the main vessel has quadripartite rib vaults; the aisles have quinquepartite vaults. From the crossing space, crowned with a magnificent lantern tower, is generated a projecting transept. The double-aisled chevet has three straight bays; the five-segment hemicycle is surrounded by an ambulatory and radiating chapels, alternating rounded and rectangular. The axial chapel, deeper than the others, was rebuilt in the 15th century.

Elevation

A 3-story elevation of arcade, vaulted gallery and clerestory, each level of approximately equal height. The main arcade piers are compound with substantial bundles of shafts marking the bay divisions. Gallery openings have two lancets under an enclosing arch: in the earliest bays in the chevet the tympana are undecorated, but as work progressed into the nave we find oculi with various kinds of cusping. The clerestory has a passage with no inner tracery.

History

Founded in the monastic revival of the 11th century. Housed relics of the Holy Blood. Amongst the wealthiest and most prestigious in the Duchy. Located on the grounds of a ducal palace, the church had its origins as a palace chapel. Under William of Volpiano, who had recently reformed the Benedictine monastery of S-Bénigne of Dijon, Fécamp was a leader in the reform movement. Dukes Richard I and II were buried here, and the remains of King Henry II were transferred to the church in 1162. As ducal interest waned the community developed the cult of pilgrimage around the relics of the Holy Blood.
In the mid-12th century the abbot was Henry de Sully (d1189), great-grandson of William the Conquerer, who was related to many noble Norman and French families and who developed a close relationship with King Henry II.

Chronology

The choir was rebuilt in the late 11th century with ambulatory and radiating chapels to accommodate/propagate the cult of saints.
The church was badly damaged in a fire in 1168: reconstruction began with the chevet, where parts of old structure survive (the two northern radiating chapels)
In 1171 relics of the Holy Blood which had survived the fire were discovered incorporated in the high altar and a dedication took place in 1181/2. On the death of Bishop Henry (1189) the eastern five bays of the nave had been completed. The new bishop was

Sculptural Program

Significance

Combines Norman archaism with new Parisian forms to create a distinctly Norman Gothic mode. The first "Norman Gothic" building.
The work completed under Bishop Henry (d1189) resembles the nave at Evreux and Mortemer.

Bibliography

Brockhaus, K., Abbatiale de la Trinité de Fécamp et l'architecture normande au moyen âge, Caen, Soc. des antiquires de Normandie, 2009



Daoust, J., Fécamp l'abbatiale de la Sainte-Trinité, Fécamp, 1956



"Fécamp Fouilles du château ducal, abbatiale de la Trinité, Chappelle Notre-Dame du Salut, musée municipal, musée de la Bénédictine," Annuaire des cinq départements de Normandie, vol. 146, 1980, pp 17-23



Guillouët, J.-M., "Une sculpture du XVe siècle et son contrat. Le Pas de l'ange à la Trinité de Fécamp," Bibliothèque de l'Ecole de Chartres, vol. 162:1, 2004, pp 133-161



Grant, L., Architecture and Society in Normandy, New Haven, 2005, 76-82.



Jones, S. E., "The twelfth-century relief from Fécamp: new evidence for their dating and original purpose," Journal of the British Archaeological Association, vol. 138, 1985, pp 79-88



Leclercq, J., Maître de la vie spirituelle au Xie siècle: Jean de Fécamp, Paris, 1946



Ordinal of the Abbey of the Holy Trinity, Fécamp, Fécamp, 2000



Pouge, F., Abbatiale de la Trinité de Fécamp: histoire, visite, Condé-sur-Noireau, 1992



Renoux, A., Fécamp: du palais ducal au palais de Dieu: bilan historique et archéologique des recherches menées sur le site du château des ducs de Normandie, Paris, CNRS, 1991



Sheerin, D. J., "The Ordinal of the Abbey of the Holy Trinity Fécamp," Catholic Historical Review, vol. 93:4, 2007, pp 907-908



Soulignac, R., Fécamp et sa campagne à l'époque des ducs de Normandie (911-1024), Fécamp, 1987 DC801 .



Vallery-Radot, J., L'église de la Trinité de Fecamp, Petite monographie, 1928/1986



Wright, G. S., "A Tomb program at Fécamp," Zeitschrift für Kunstgeschichte, vol. 47:2, 1984, pp 186-209


The Floorplan: Images & Panoramas
Parametric Section
Vital Statistics
  • Begun around 1168
  • Destroyed in
  • Latitude 49.7554016113281
  • Longitude 0.381552994251251
  • Parent Town
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