The parish church of Notre Dame is listed as Monument Historique (national heritage site) by decree of January 15, 2001. It is part of the abbey of Saint Germer de Fly.
As per an in-depth study on the church’s building ordered in 2018 by the prefecture, under the direction of Mrs. Anastasiya Chevalier-Shmauhanets in 2018:
The presence of opus spicatum masonry (the nave, lower levels of the cross tower, south arm of the transept) (fig. 6-7) could indicate that initially the church had a transept. Back at this time (beginning of the 11th century, last quarter of the 10th century), the presence of a transept was rare in the rural world.
There are hardly any written mentions of the church of Ménerval during the ducal period. However, since the 18th century, several authors have come up with assumptions as to the building’s history.
In his work on Normandy, Dom Toussaint Du Plessis states for example:
“The lords of Marigny gave this church to the abbey of Saint-Germer, and Pope Alexander III confirmed its possession to him with all the tithes of the place. Rotrou, archbishop of Rouen, did the same around the same time, and only reserved, according to custom, a quarter of the tithes for the priest who would serve the parish”.
However, the date of this donation is not provided by the author. On the other hand, the archives dating from the second half of the 17th century confirms the information given by the abbot by specifying that this act took place ” more than 500 years ago “.
Therefore, if we consider the dates of the pontificate of Alexander III (1159-1181) and those of the episcopate of Rotrou (1165-1183), we can assume that the church of Ménerval was given to the Abbey of Saint-Germer between the years 1165 and 1181.
However, it is necessary to mention the article by Suzanne Deck on the temporal of the Cistercian abbey Beaubec-la-Rosère in which she states that “In the middle of Bray, they (monks) acquired, before 1175, the manor of Saint-Ouen, parish de Ménerval (…)”.
Anyways, in the 13th century pouillé (ecclesiastical register), the church of Ménerval belongs to the abbey of Saint-Germer-de-Fly.
There are also very few sources after the Ducal era. The priest of Ménerval, Johannes, was cited in the journal of Eude Rigaud and the Brotherhood of Notre-Dame was first attested between 1457-1458.
As for the building, its choir was built towards the end of the sixteenth century, if we assume that the engraved date is 1600: L’an M. VI cent fust liuré ceste oeuvre présente.
In 1706, the Saint-Germer abbey provided for repairs to the choir and tower of the Ménerval church. No document attests that this work was indeed carried out. Likewise, during the second half of the 18th century, the church was in a poor condition. Thus, M. Lenostre, parish priest of Argueil, proposed to either destroy the building in its entirety or teard down the nave. We have no documents attesting what was the reaction of the faithful to this proposal – but it is possible that the building has been indeed restored.
We have found some more information on the church’s past on an amateur blog of Eva.Maïa:
- o 12th century: Nave and bell tower
o 13th century: Transepts
o Choir initially built in the 13th century and rebuilt at the end of the 15th or early 16th century: Choir (inscription on the frame / carved entry 1506 or 1600)
o 1804: Work initially planned for 1803 but postponed to 1804 (no response from the prefecture), which include: stained glass, replacement and restoration of two broken glass and lead panels in the choir and one in the nave, restoration of the south side of the tiled nave, repairs to the covers of the transepts, the choir, the bell tower and the entrance porch.
o 1835: Demolition and reconstruction of the church portal, the attics, bell tower and chapels
o 1839 to 1841: Architect Levillain
o 1840: Request for extraordinary help from the Minister of Justice and Religious Affairs,
o 1841: “Masonry and glazing” work carried out by Sieur Payen, entrepreneur,
o 1842: Final acceptance of the restoration works of the church by Sieur Caron, entrepreneur,
o 1844: Repair of the church door by Sieur Payen, contractor, construction of oak stalls, work supervised by the architect Benjamin Julien L’Hotte,
- Note: indication of the south side of the slate nave.
- o 12th century: Nave and bell tower
- 1852: Roof repairs by Mr. Payen, entrepreneur,
- 1855: Repairs on the cradle of the nave and the choir.
Note: Full replacement of the nave, tongue and groove principle included bleaching, completion of additional work on the choir cell including purging, identical replacement and bolts, on the sacristy, creation of fence paneling dito paneling of the choir.
- 1855/56: Carpentry, painting and laundry work, but also masonry repair by Sieur Payen, entrepreneur.
- 1856: Mark on the tie rod of the nave and paneling covering the choir.
- 1862: Roof repair work by Sieur Leguay, entrepreneur.
- 1876: Repair work on the roof of the church and the slate steeple under the direction of the architect Emile Carlier.
Note: before this date, the roofs of the church were in tiles except on the south side of the nave.
- 1902: Restoration work on the vault of the choir, directed by the architect Emile Carlier.
- Note: work including repair of the framework and repair of the vault with superficial cleaning and varnishing for the paintings’ conservation and the inscriptions of the punches and tie rods (Carmant and Pourlier company).
- 1908: Unspecified work
- 01/15/2001: Parish church of Notre-Dame registered under the Inventaire Supplémentaire des Monuments Historiques (registry of French heritage sites under the regional level of importance).
- 2005: Electrical compliance work by the company Forclum
- 2006: Estimate for the restoration of the stained-glass windows in the choir (bay #1 of the choir on the left side, bay #6 of the choir on the right side and bay #4 of the choir on the right side) by the company Vitraux d’Arts Forfait (not realized) excluding mesh protections
- 2015: CRMH health status