The preceptory of Auvignac

Translation : Andrew Zolnai
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France, department of Charente

France, department of Charente, around 30 km south-west of Angouleme, city of Barbezieux.

Templars owned a mill at Auvignac since the end of the 12nd century or the beginning of the 13th, as it is attested in the cartulary of the Priory Notre Dame of Barbezieux(1), but one ignore at which date were erected the house and the chapel.

The pontifical inquiry of 1373 shows us that Auvignac was a member of the preceptory of Le Deffend.
As all the others preceptories in the area, Auvignac has extremely suffered of the Hundred Years'War and has lost almost all its incomes. Since the 15th century, Auvignac is reunite, as Le Deffend, to the great preceptory of Les Epeaux.

Several prior's visits during the 17th and 18th centuries mention the defacement of the buildings and mainly of the chapel.
In 1755, the village of Auvignac is only made up by 7 or 8 houses(2) and the mass is celebrated once by three weeks in the village's chapel by a Franciscan friar of Barbezieux.

Today, it only remains the name of a place called « Le Vignac » where one may still see some stones at the place who was erected the chapel, certainly destroyed during the French Revolution.

Notes :

(1)It is currently the church St-Mathias. At the time, the Priory of Our Lady depended on the Benedictine abbey of Cluny.

(2)In France, before the Revolution of 1789, the term "fire(place)" designated all the people living in a house. This term was also the basic unit for calculating taxes.

More references... Bibliography
  1. "Les Commanderies des Templiers et des Hospitaliers de Saint-Jean de Jérusalem en Saintonge et en Aunis"
    Anne-Marie Legras; Editions du Centre National de Recherche Scientifique 1983
  2. "Les Templiers dans le Sud-Ouest"
    Jacques Dubourg; Editions Sud Ouest 2001
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Translation : Andrew Zolnai
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