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A healing spring

Far from the madding crowd, tucked next to a country road along the Seine River, in a place where the marshy landscape opens up to the changing light and the subtle tones of poplars all in a row. It is a lovely walk, shaded by the old abbey wall, flecked with stone and flint. Once through the gate, the peaceful atmosphere of the park is disturbed only by the sound of running water; as in a dream, one can make out the Gothic arcades and the greying stones of a manor house.

A dream was actually at the origin of the abbey: a dream by Herluin de Conteville, who founded Grestain Abbey in 1050: a leper, he had a vision of the Virgin Mary who promised that he would be cured if he rebuilt an old chapel that was dedicated to her near a spring. He built it and was cured…and later he married Arlette, the mother of William the Conqueror. Herluin, Arlette and other members of their family are buried at Grestain, somewhere on the abbey grounds, as attested by the “Mortuary Rolls of Saint Vitalis”, dated 1123, housed today in the French National Library.

Practical InformationAddress : Association des Amis de l’ancienne abbaye Notre-Dame de Grestain 2169 Route de l’Estuaire Impasse de l’Abbaye 27210 Fatouville-Grestain
: 02 32 57 72 10
: Contact
Website : View Website

The former abbey of Grestain is open to the public all year round.

In low season it is recommended to make an appointment.

For groups, notify in advance.


Norman Abbeys
Norman Abbeys

Abbayes de Normandie - Route historique
28, rue Raymond Aron
BP 52
76824 Mont-Saint-Aignan Cedex

+33 (0)2 35 12 41 60
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