Perched atop a rocky promontory, Angles-sur-Anglin’s parish church dominates both the town and the river. Built towards the end of the 11th century, the church is dedicated to Saint Martin. Bishop of Tours in the 4th century, he is particularly popular in the region around Touraine.
The parish church also served as a priory or small monastery. It was affiliated to Sainte-Croix Abbey in Angles and administered by a priest-curate nominated by the Bishop of Poitiers.
At the end of the 16th century, the religious wars did not spare the parish church and it was reported to be in a dilapidated state after the French Revolution. Several restoration works were therefore carried out during the 19th century. The southern elevation, which was at risk of collapsing entirely, was completely rebuilt in 1891. Despite a number of successive series of restoration works, the church retains its original belfry, dating from the 11th century. Its square design is characteristic of belfries of the Romanesque era in Poitou-Charentes, built on two levels with semi-circular arcades. It is embellished with capitals and mollions with plant motifs or in geometric shapes, and the more observant among you might also be able to make out a few faces. Due to its age and decoration the belfry was granted Historical Monument status in 1926.
Inside the church, you can still see its panelled barrel vault and timber frame. In the chancel, the 17th century alter piece is decorated in the gilded baroque style. It is adorned with a scene representing the Adoration of the Magi. The stained glass windows were produced in the workshops of Tours native Julien Fournier, between 1892 and 1896. Samuel Périvier, a native of Angles-sur’l’Anglin and also first president of the Paris Court of Appeal was one of the patrons. You can see his likeness in one of the stained glass windows, in the guise of Saint John the Apostle.
Fortress and village
- 11. Winemaking
- 12. The Parish Church of Saint Martin
The Parish Church of Saint Martin
This video will show you the church and its Roman belfry, granted Historical Monument status, in greater detail.