Like most religious buildings, the Notre Dame de Ménerval church faces west. It is built on a Latin cross plan. The nave, based on a single vessel, ends on the two massive west piers of the transept crossing which carries the square-based bell tower. The square bell tower rises on two levels. The south arm of the transept houses the sacristy, while the north arm of the transept serves only as a circulation space between the nave, the choir and the crossing towards the turret of access to the bell tower. The choir, in the continuity of the nave and the crossing of the transept, constitutes an imposing nave which ends in an apse with cut sides.
The whole, nave, chancel and transept arm is covered by gable roofs. The bell tower is covered with an octagonal spire and a square tower. A porch covering the imposing west gable is covered with 3 sides.
The porch, of modest size, is supported by two brick columns placed on the wall of the cemetery. The frame, which remains unseen since it is blocked by a plaster ceiling, is hung on the facade. The roof is made of slate.
The exterior elevations of the nave are made up of masonry of small limestone devices, locally paired in “opus spicatum”, with scattered modules of “grison” type ferruginous stone.
The west gable is pierced by a third point entrance door with broken stick decoration, the structure supported on either side by two cylindrical columns. At the axis of the gable, hidden by the porch, the trace of an old blocked semicircular bay is recognizable by the stone frame that remains. In the upper part, and later, a semicircular bay, put out of the water by a white glass, is also preserved.
The southern facade is punctuated by a single buttress in gray shell tuff with a single drip edge; probably of a later built because it is not aligned with the structural frame of the construction.
No buttress on the north facade of the nave.
To the south, at the western end, a blocked door (former door of the dead), in the upper part a series of blocked bays, of a remarkable nature dut to their small size and their white limestone frame. These old arrangements are also found on the upper portion of the North elevation. On the middle part of the south elevation, the trace of a blocked bay with its brick frames, now plastered.
The nave now has two large openings per facade, these are pointed arched bay windows dating from 1841 (bays n ° 9 to 12).
The stained-glass windows in the nave present transparent glass probably dating from the 19th century.
The covering of the two-sided nave is in small flat tile to the north and slate to the south.
Only the northern slope is equipped with hanging gutters.
The masonry of the North and South arms of the transept are of the same composition as the masonry of the nave. The elevations are pierced with narrow semi-circular bays but old blocked openings are present in the upper part. The stained-glass windows are geometric with decorative grisaille. The southern facade of the southern arm is buttressed by a buttress not aligned with the structure, composed of limestone ashlar with two levels of drip edge.
At the northwest corner of the north transept arm, a semi-cylindrical masonry turret with a small limestone device and a scattered “grison” type module was built to access the attic. The turret is lit by superimposed bays, very narrow, framed by limestone. The arms of the transept are covered in slate, the roof of the turret is also made of slate.
The choir, made up of two bays and a three-sided apse, is built in gray shell tuff for the elevations. The structure is butted with six buttresses with drip edge, also in tuff typed cut stone.
The last bay to the west is pierced on both sides of a narrow semi-circular bay; on the north facade, the bay interrupts the continuous drip edge on all the elevations of the choir including buttresses.
The first bay to the east is pierced with a semi-circular arch tracery bay; the bay interrupts the drip tray. The bays’ network are made of limestone from the Seine valley, probably repairs or late repairs. On bay n ° 3, only the support is old and the rest of the bay has been restored without being harped to the gutter wall.
The north and south cut sides of the bedside are pierced with the same type of bay. The geometric stained-glass windows are made up of decorative grisaille panels, locally ancient medallions with figurative shapes.
The axis bay is plugged in coated rubble stone masonry.
The choir is covered in slate on all of its slopes, the rainwater collection network is in zinc, made up of half-round hanging gutters and zinc downspouts.
THE BELL TOWER
The square-based bell tower is placed on massive piles which form the crossing of the transept. It rises on two levels and is built at the first level in large paired limestone rubble, with at the North-West and South-West angles imposing buttresses which are found on the interior O level.
Level 2, the current chamber of the bells, is built in cut stone seated with white limestone in the Seine valley type. The facades of this level are pierced with very heterogeneous bays: the southern facade has a twin bay with an isolated column, probably the last trace of an old opening; the east facade has two twin bays partly blocked by the ridge of the choir; the north facade has two large semi-circular bays probably twin at the origin (west bay blocked with a simple loophole, open east bay) and a small narrower bay to the east, with two small columns; the west facade has, to the north, a small bay with columns but that is blocked, a large semi-circular bay with twin opening, partly obstructed by the roof of the nave located further north, no opening to the south.
The bell tower is covered by a spire with a square base and an octagonal point, the frame of which is made of oak. The cover is in natural slate laid on the nail with the cross and the rooster at its top. The tip of the arrow has no lightning rod device.
THE INTERIORS OF THE NEF
The crossing of the transept rests on four thick diaphragm walls, each pierced with a semi-circular bay window. The walls are plastered. The window is covered by a flat ceiling coated with plaster on a lath.
Quarter-round corbels are anchored in the north and south walls of each volume.
The North arm forms a passage allowing access to the attic by a turret containing a freestone spiral staircase leading into the roof space of the North arm of the transept which must be crossed to access level 1 of the bell tower.
Located on the upper level (level 2), the chamber of the bells, with a large bell in a two-lane belfry, is accessible by a wooden ladder.
INTERIORS OF THE TRANSEPT
La croisée du transept repose sur quatre murs diaphragmes épais percés chacun d’une baie en tiers-point. Les murs sont enduits au plâtre. La croisée est couverte par un plafond plat enduit au plâtre sur lattis.
Des corbeaux en quart de rond sont ancrés dans les murs Nord et Sud de chaque volume.
Le bras Nord forme un passage permettant l’accès aux combles par une tourelle contenant un escalier à vis en pierre de taille donnant dans le comble du bras Nord du transept qu’il convient de traverser pour accéder au niveau 1 du clocher.
Située au niveau supérieur (niveau 2), la chambre des cloches comptant une grosse cloche dans un beffroi à deux voies, est accessible par une échelle en bois.
THE INTERIORS OF THE CHOIR AND THE APSIDE
The choir is separated from the apse by a single step. The floor is covered with relatively old hexagonal tiles. Paneling covers the walls up to the height of the bay sills, on which the stalls rest. The rest of the elevations are plastered.
The stained-glass windows, made of diamond-shaped glass, have some ancient historiated elements placed in the tracery of the North and South bays.
A large polychrome altarpiece (classified as a historical monument in its quality of movable object) leans against the east side of the three-sided apse. The covering of the choir volume is made up of a wooden vault in the form of a broken cradle with three sides, the battens are made of softwood and the joint covers are made of oak.
The primary structure of the vault, also including the corbelled wall plates, is entirely sculpted: oves, tori, palmettes, as well as the carved pegs with anthropomorphic figures (angels with the coat of arms, heads of men and women, etc.); under-ridge lines with carved keystones (florets, leaves, etc.), truss beams and East punch with the same type decoration, with coats of arms, figures, interlacing of leaves.
THE ATTIC AND THE BELL TOWER
The frames of the nave, the choir and the south arm of the transept are not accessible. The choir frame is however visible from the bay of the eastern facade of the bell tower on which the choir roof abuts.
The framework of the North arm of the transept is a frame with firm and purlin in oak with raised floor.
The frame of the steeple’s spire is an oak frame built on a square groove base, with broach and ending in an octagonal base spire, the classic truss: truss beams, crossbowman, punch and strut, all rising on 4 levels of grooves with molded ties.