The Saint-Denis Church
It is inside or more exactly below, in the foundations of our church that probably the oldest stone of the Mesnil-Saint-Denis is. It is indeed on this site, that can be built a first building between IXe and XIIe century. We do not find of it really the hard copy that in "de administratione sua" that us left Suger, abbot of Saint-Denis, adviser of Louis VI and minister of Louis VII, died in 1151. With many recoveries, significant work campaigns modified or restored the building of which the great completion date part of XVIe century. Gothic time (XIIIe) remains indeed only the side and the large arcades, and of the Romance time, the three windows of the northern wall as well as the external buttresses.
The church which formerly was surrounded like the majority of the parishes by the cemetery, is equipped with a splendid bell-tower on two floors. The bored low part of windows in gothic arch could date from XIIIe century, while the higher stage seems to be rebuilt to him in 1729 after the storm which destroyed it in 1709. The unit is overcome by an elegant slim arrow covered with slate. It is into 1829 that the church accepted the fore-mentioned bells for the most significant "Marie-Eulalie" and for the smallest "Henriette-Marie". The first had as a godfather a prestigious character, Martin-Guillaume Biennais, the goldsmith of the Napoleon Emperor 1st. These two "young ladies" replaced their elder who did not resist the lightning fallen on the bell-tower at the previous century. Answering the first names of "Renee", "Felice" and "Charlotte" these last did not have, all at least with regard to their sponsorship, to envy their remplaçantes. Indeed, of great names of the kingdom were selected to be godfathers and godmothers. Let us name simply the count de Maurepas, Jean-Frédéric de Phélypeaux [1701-1781], minister and Secretary of State; Armande Félice de La Porte de la Meilleraye de Mazarin, marchioness of Nesles [1691-1729] (grand-daughter of Hortense Mancini and back-small niece of Mazarin) ; Joachim-François Potier [1692-1757], duke of Gesvres, Par of France, governor of Paris ; Renée Elisabeth de Romilly de la Chesnelaye widow of Léon Potier duke of Gesvres ; Jean-Louis de Rieu du Fargis, count of Mênil-Habert ; Louise Charlotte de Foix-Rabat, countess of Sabran and of Forcalquier [1693-1768].
Were present also at this blessing : Charles-François Frédéric, duke of Montmorency-Luxembourg, governor of Normandie [1702-1764] and Henriette de Fitzjames, marchioness of Reynel [1705-1739] (girl of the duke of Berwick and grand-daughter of Jacques II Stuart, king of England).
The interior of the church, on each side of the chorus, whose woodworks classified by the Historic buildings into 1912 date from the XVIIIe century, are two interesting vaults: with the foot of the bell-tower, those of the lords of the manor of La Verrière, the powerful Séguier family and in the south, that very elegant, lords of the manor of the village, not less powerful Habert de Montmor. The red brick and the white stone, unusual in religious architecture in this area, combine with wonder and bring to the groined vault with it provided with a carved key, a decorative dimension of quality. It is in September 1912, during the work of restoration of the church directed by Messrs Trubert, architect of Rambouillet, and Eugene Mulot, building contractor in Mousseau, which one discovered under the paving of the chorus, the Chapel of Louis Habert de Montmor (1530-1622) as well as the coffin of its wife Marie Rubentel (+ 1612).
The official report of the discovery, was signed by the mayor Henri Husson, the priest Alexandre Guillouard and several members of the town council, before being deposited inside a lead tube in the tomb. Other significant characters were also buried there of 1506 to 1689 and more particularly in the vault belonging to the house Séguier, lords of La Verrière, located close to the sanctuary, on the side of the Gospel. Here the Bishop of Nimes rests, Jean-Jacques Séguier (1606-1689) cousin of the chancellor Pierre Séguier, and Antoine-Rémy de Lavallette (+ 1808) father of Antoine-Marie Chamans count de Lavallette, Poste minister of Napoleon 1st of 1804 to 1815 whose funeral flagstone, fixed on the wall, is still visible.
The porch of entry dates from XVIe century and shows on the low-reliefs two statues of women holding a reversed torch, whining symbolizing the pain. Somewhat mutilated these low-reliefs dating them-also from the XVIIe century come from a monument. In the pinion, a statue damaged by the bad weather, represents the Vierge du Salut. The pond which was with the foot of the church was filled in 1935 per deliberation of the Town council.
Copyright © Olivier FAUVEAU - 2001