The Abbey Bec-Hellouin, Northern France

The Abbey is situated in Northern France approximately equidistant from Rouen and Le Havre.
It was founded in 1040 by it is said a young knight who resolved to become a hermit and took the name of Herlouin.
The Abbey has been described as ‘one of the most important centres of intellectual learning in the Christian World’ and had strong links with the Christian church in England.
A number of its incumbents later became Archbishop of Canterbury, (the senior Archbishop in England) and three became Bishop of Rochester.

St Nicholas Tower
Pope Alexander II was a student there.
Lanfranc who later became Archbishop of Canterbury was a close ally of the man who later became known as William the Conqueror, after his successful invasion of England in 1066.
Anselm was abbot at Bec-Hellouin before becoming Archbishop of Canterbury in 1093
In 1792 the monks were dispersed, and the buildings were used as a cavalry depot
The Abbey was re-occupied in 1948 by Benedictine monks, who undertook a substantial renovation of the buildings, and converted the vaulted refectory of 1747 into the abbey church which contains the tomb of it’s founder.
The building pictured above is the 15th century St Nicholas Tower, on of the few buildings of the abbey to have survived largely undisturbed.

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