The church of Appeville-Annebault and its pigeons

The church Saint-André in Appeville-Annebault was mentioned in the 11th century for the first time. I bet the whole village was mentioned in the 11th century for the first time. But it sure wasn’t the same church Appeville-Annebault has today. The choir of the “modern” church was built in 14th century but the nave and the bell tower were rebuilt in 1518 and the following years for the still famous Claude d’Annebault (imagine you’d be dead since over 400 years and still get a Wikipedia article, not that it would make any difference concerning being dead though). He must have been quite wealthy. Strange enough the right of patronage belonged to a monastery, the priory of Saint-Philbert-sur-Risle and later to Bec Abbey, and not to the local seigneur.

I went there on the last warm days 2014. Everybody in Normandy knew it were the last warm days. And everybody was out there on the streets in their car. I had my terrier Rudi with me. He likes to go by car, mainly because he gets a treat if he has to wait. We reached the church and found no parking. There was a one way road and one parking place for the parson. None for the visitors. Maybe they don’t want visitors. On one side of the church runs a route départementale, a big road with lots of traffic. At the side of the church was a lot of space. really a lot of space. With a “No waiting”-sign. I had no choice if I wanted to take photographs of the church, I had to leave my car somewhere. I hoped Rudi would explain to any police officer, that we’re not waiting and I hoped he would drive away if necessary. Would have been a good idea to take the Bernese mountain dog with me as well, he looks so much like a driver.

In front of the gate to the cemetery, that surrounds the church, lay a dead pigeon in a decomposed state. They really don’t want any visitors. After fiddling around with the gate mechanism for 10 minutes I finally opened it and entered the cemetery.

l'église Saint-André
All the photographs in this article are my own. They are on Flickr and somehow I can’t get Chromium to tag or rather describe them here correctly. This is the church Saint-André (Saint Andrew).

Front of the church Saint-André
The picturesque façade of the church.

Musical angels over the entrance
Musical anges over the left front door.

Musical angels over the entrance
Musical anges over the right front door.

Kleiner Fuchs auf verzierter Säule
There’s a small tortoiseshell butterfly sitting on the decorated pillar next to the entrance of the church.

I like gargoyles, there were several gargoyles in good condition and some other sculptures.

Gargoyle on Saint-André

Gargoyle on Saint-André

Saint Andrew holding a cross
This gargoyle had a Saint Andrew above him.

Pigeon playground
This one was a pigeon playground.

Ape and pigeon

This apelike figure is holding a coat of arms with a St. Andrew’s cross. It’s not an ape though. It’s a lion. Go figure. The coat of arms of Admiral Annebault wasn’t like this. It showed two silver branches of rowan berries draped like a double necklace under a blue and white chequered chief.

Appeville Südtür
The southern door, that led the defunct’s soul directly into heaven. Very practical custom, if one believes in it of course.

Kopf ist ab, Schwanz noch dran
A dragon. His head is missing.

Türmchen auf der Kirche Saint-André
On the roof were lots of pigeons and some finials. I liked those finials. They look like thistles.

épi de faitage sur l'église Saint-André

And last but not least a weathercock with “balls”.

Coq avec boules

The “balls” have holes and I guess they are rather loops. Maybe they were used to pull he weathercock up with a rope. No idea. Only some older weathercocks in the area have those loops.

I took those photographs in no time. Was relieved that nobody asked Rudi to drive the car away. It wasn’t the only car standing in the “No waiting”-area though. There were two other cars and a trailer of a truck. But you’ll never know. Rudi appreciated the treat and we drove happily home.

Sources and further reading

The church Saint-André in the Base Mérimée

French Wikipedia, where a user by name of ‘Redbeauty’ has written some completely unsourced content They wrote about the lion.