The churche of Venables
The church of Venables, dedicated to Our Lady, has retained certain parts from the 12th century. The square tower to the south of the choeur appears to be from the 16th century. It has diagonal buttresses; one dating back to 1620 was repaired at that time. The slate covered bell tower, topped with a steeple, houses a clock and three bells.
We can read on the largest bell: "I am Marie-Jeanne, donated in the year 1851 by Mr. Thomas Heuvin and Lady Marie-Madeline Heuvin, his sister, landowner in Venables; blessed by Mr. Nicolas Teodor Oliver, bishop of Evreux in 1851, abbot Denize, priest of Venables." On the middle-sized bell is written: " In the year 1851, I was blessed and named Victoire by Mr., Philippe Langois, mayor, and Lady Victoire de Poissaloble de Nantueil." On the smallest bell is written: " In the year 1851, I was blessed and named Marie-Louis by Mr. Dubois, knight of Sainte-Hilaire, and damsel Roux de Puivert de Venables".
A rather attractive portico, dated 1722, covers the entrance of the church to the south of the nave. Inside, the artifacts are quite remarkable. We find an alabaster retable representing the Assumption from the 15th century, a statue of the Virgin with the Christ Child from the 16th century, a statue of Sainte-Madeline from the 18th century which is said to come from the chartreuse d'Aubevoye, a wooden stature of Saint Nicholas from the 17th century, terra cotta representations of Saint-Sebastian and Saint-Jean, a lectern from the time of Louis XVI, and eight pews from the 15th century.
The baptismal font is also very old. The cemetery which partly surrounds the church is no longer used. There only remains the cross surrounded by the church lawn. Also on the lawn is a war memorial from 1914.
To the north of the village, at the edge of the bluff overhanging the Seine, is a curious-looking mound called "La Motelle". There is not a vestige that remains to trace its origins. According to records from the town hall, it is dated back to the 10th century. One can imagine it being used for a windmill, or more likely for a watch tower because of its geographical placement at a prominent place overlooking a good stretch of the Seine.
Opposite the church, towards the south, stood the priory of Cross-Saint-Leufroy. It was taken comme bien national during the French Revolution and later destroyed as the result of the bombings of World War II.
In 1200, the fiefdom of Fountaineverte was held by Garnier, sire of Fountaineverte; and in 1257, Roger de Langlois was the sire of Fountaineverte. The name of this fiefdom comes from the little streams of water which flow through the greenery.
In 1060, in the fiefdom of Lormaie, we find Gaultier, sire of Lormaie, canon of Evreux. In 1705, this fiefdom belonged to Jacques le Metayer, sire of Lormaie. In 1093, the fiefdom of La Mare belonged to Hugue, lord of La Mare; and in 1696, we find N. Mausavior possessing it In 1696, Jean de Mausavior was the last known lord of La Mare.
We have noted in Victoire de l'Eau (p.217) that not far from Andelys in Venables parish was the ditch of La Mare or the Valley of the Devil. Passage through this area was so dangerous that the drivers of horses along the towpath climbed more than 1000 feet of terrain in order to avoid it. It appears that there was formally on this ravine, an 18 to 20 foot culvert that was maintained by the canons of Beauvais.
Around 1851-1852, the farmers built a dam to protect their crops from flooding of the Seine. Within the fiefdom of La Rive, there was an estate which belonged successively to the families of Metayer and Champion. At the time of the Revolution, it was run by Beauvais who was the owner. The barn, one of the last remnants of this estate disappeared at the beginning of the 20th century.
The fiefdom of Val D'Ailly was a quarter of haubert having an inn, a manor house, a chapel, a farmyard, a pigeon house, a twenty acre enclosure, a courtyard, usage, seneschal, prevost and a forester.
In 1513, Antoine de Carada was lord of Val d'Ailly in Venables. On February 26, 1700, Anne-Madeleine, lady of Val d'Ailly, married Martin Le Pelletier de Longuemare. She then lived in the manor house in Val d'Ailly.
It was Louis Henri Mangin who was the last feudal lord of the Val d'Ailly. His son, Etienne Mangin was one of the most distinguished officers of the French navy during the first half of the 19th century. He died contre-admiral.
In the tower there are some seventeenth century engravings of sailing ships on the Seine. The rigging of these ships and the method of towing employed can be seen clearly. These trading-vessels could be from 5 to 10 metres in length. The mainmast, between 3 and 5 metres in height, was held firmly by four or five multiple lines secured to the sides and extremities of the ship. The mainmast did not hold a sail but, instead, a towing-rope was fixed to it, to allow men or animals [oxen or horses] to draw the ship upstream. These flat-bottomed vessels, modelled on the Viking knorr, had a very shallow draught but a very large rudder.
Virgin with the child XVIi�me century.
The ASSUMPTION (Alabaster) XVi�me Century.
Wood stalls carved XVi�me century.
St Sebastien Terra cotta XVIIIi�me century.
Ste Marie Madeleine XVIIi�me Century.
Lectern XVIIIi�me century.
Christ, St Jean, Ste Marie XVi�me century.
Christ and two angels XVIIi�me century.
St Jean Baptist XVIIIi�me Century.
Ecce Homo XVIi�me Century.
Mural graffiti XVIIi�me century.
St Michel and the Dragon XVIi�me century.
Baptismal tank XIIIi�me century.
Vitraux XXi�me century.