The preceptory of Chalou-Moulineux

Translation : Andrew Zolnai
No pictures available

France, département de l'Essonne

France, department of Essonne, around 15 km south-west of Etampes.

In 1185, Queen Adele of Champagne(1), widow of Louis VII, gave the whole village of Chalou-Saint-Aignan(2) to the Order of the Temple

. His son, the King of France, Philip II Augustus and Pope Clement III, confirmed this donation the same year.

With this donation, which includes not only the lands of the village of Chalou but also all the related rights, the Templars became lords and depositaries of the rights of low, medium and high justice on this domain.

Le pignon de la chapelle
Le Temple de Chalou-Moulineux
Source :

The buildings of the preceptory were in the centre of the village. It consisted of a house for the commander, a farm, mills and a chapel. Two ponds were also adjacent to the property of the preceptory, one of 44 arpents was called "Grand Etang de Moulineux".

The preceptory of Chalou had several outbuildings, including the houses of Etampes, Ramoulu, Perray, Le Saussay, La Boutiere and that of Migneres.

In Etampes, the Templars had two houses in the street of the "Cordeliers". One was used as a hotel and was rented annually, the other served as a warehouse for tithes and various royalties due to the Order.

At Ramoulu, the Templars owned a house which was given at the same time as the main estate of Chalou. In 1373, after the transfer of the property to the Hospitallers, this house was rented to farm and counted 150 arpents(3) of land. In the 17th century, there was only a barn to contain crops and the proceeds of tithes.

In the hamlet of Le Perray, located between the parishes of Sceaux-du-Gâtinais and Beaumont-du-Gâtinais, at the boundaries of the present departments of Loiret and Seine-et-Marne, the Order had a farm with around thirty arpents.

In the hamlet of La Boutière, now called La Bottière, located at the exit of Sceaux-du-Gâtinais, on the same axis as the hamlet of Le Perray, the Order had a farm with 60 arpents of land.

In the hamlet of the Temple at Mignieres, the Order had a farm with around fifty acres of land. This house disappeared at the end of the 17th century.

L'église Saint-Aignan
L'église Saint-Aignan
Source :

When the Hospitallers took possession of Chalou in 1312, they renamed it in preceptory of Etampes. They will also separate the house of Saussay to make a preceptory in itself, but will add, over time and in compensation for loss of income, their houses of Chenay, Pilvarnier, La Donaison, La Roche-Liphard and Fontenelle.

The entire hamlet of Le Chenay (Le Chesnay), located north-west of Etampes, was given in 1374 to the Order of the Hospital by Louis, count of Etampes, instead of an annual rent of 10 muids(4) of wheat he owed to the preceptory of Etampes.

In 1179, the archives mention that the Hospitallers are the beneficiaries of the tithe of Pilvarnier. A charter dated from 1290 mentions that a certain lady Alice of Barville gives herself, body and property, to the house of the hospital of Pilvarnier. So this house was therefore founded between these two dates. In 1474, the domain of the preceptory was sold to the King of France, Louis XI(5), who wanted to make it a hunting relay.

It is not known exactly when the Order of the Hospital was installed in the hamlet of La Donaison, at the south of the parish of Sury-aux-Bois. It is only known that in the 16th century the estate consisted of 27 arpents of meadows, 700 arpents of arable land and 2000 arpents of forest of full grown trees.

The date of installation of the Hospitallers at La Roche-Liphard, a hamlet north of Dourdan, is not known exactly. In the 16th century, the estate consisted of a house, a chapel and 45 arpents of land. In the second half of the 18th century, the chapel and the house disappeared, leaving only 28 arpents of land which are leased to a tenant.

At Fontenette, the Hospitallers had 260 arpents of land, as well as a chapel dedicated to Saint-Blaise. In 1495, it is mentioned in a report of the visit of the prior that the chapel is "very old".

Notes :

(1)Adele, Alix, or Alice of Champagne, was the daughter of Thibaut IV, Count of Champagne and of Blois, and of Mathilde of Carinthia. She was born around 1140 and died on June 4th 1206 in Paris. In 1160, she married King Louis VII of France.

(2)This village belonged to the royal domain which belonged to Queen Adele of France after she had exchanged this estate for that of Artenay with the chapter of Saint-Aignan of Orleans. At that time, the village was also called Chalou-la-Reine.

(3)One arpent was more or less 50 ares depending on the region.

(4)The almud is an old measure of volume, variable value according to the times, regions, and the nature of the measured goods. For dry materials (oat, salt, ...), an almud worth between 1.8 and 4 m3. For liquids (wine, ...), it was between 130 and 700 litres depending on the period or the region.

(5)Louis XI "the Prudent" was king of France from 1461 to 1483. He was the son of Charles VII and Marie of Anjou. He was born on July 3rd 1423 in Bourges and died on August 30th 1483. On June 24th 1436, he married Marguerite, daughter of Jacques 1st, king of Scotland.

More references... Bibliography
  1. "Les commanderies du Grand Prieuré de France"(lien sur - volume 1 - lien sur - volume 2)
    Eugène Mannier, 1872
  2. "Les Hauts-Lieux Templiers"
    Daniel Gaillard ; Editions Lacour-Rediviva 2005
  3. "Sur les pas des Templiers à Paris et en Ile de France"
    Michel Dumontier; Editions Copernic 1979
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Translation : Andrew Zolnai
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