Travel slowly, staying in vacation rentals (villas, farms, cottages, apartments)
Report 2029: France 2012 Part 1 - The Loire Valley
By Eleanor from UK, Fall 2012
Page 33 of 33: To the Southeast of Loches - Massay
We booked a night at Clos de la Fontaine in Massay, a small settlement between Loches and Bourges. I have included the information here as it seems to be the most logical place for it.
Clos de la Fontaine used to be called Massay Gîtes. It is a large old farmhouse on the main street with an archway into a big courtyard with a fountain in the center, hot spa, barn with two rooms and another two rooms in the building alongside the house.
We had a very comfortable room in the barn. In the courtyard outside the door, was a table and chairs for eating outside. Inside there was a big and very comfortable brass bed, TV, easy chair, folding table and two chairs for eating. The small kitchenette had a small fridge, microwave, hot plate and sink with a basic set of crockery and cutlery and a supply tea and coffee.
The bathroom off had an excellent shower with top and side jets.
The price includes a breakfast either in the room or in main house. Unfortunately we didn’t have chance to sample breakfast.
The rooms have internet access, which is when we discovered an email from Brittany ferries saying our sailing had been cancelled because of industrial action. This meant an early start the next morning before breakfast to head to Calais for an alternative ferry.
Massay is a large well maintained village along the main street. You won’t find it in the guide books and the only information is on the Clos de la Fontaine website.
It has a bakers, butchers, small supermarket and a restaurant. The château is now a retirement home. There is a beautifully restored lavoir but it is through a locked gate.
Église Abbatiale St-Martin was part of an old Clunic Abbey. The present church is the chancel of the original Abbey church. Behind it are the remains of the cloisters with the chapter house (locked) and dormitories above. There is a large tithe barn and a smaller barn. There is also a smaller rectangular chapel (also locked) with a very decorative carved north door with big dog tooth carving under the arch and on the capitals of the pillars. Mason’s marks can be seen on the stones above the doorway. The Marie is in the Logis du Chambier or the Presbytery, depending on which sign you read.
The bottom of the church tower is 12thC, the rest of the building 14/15thC. The huge square church tower would have been above the transept. It has massive buttresses at the corners with pinnacles, a carved balustrade around the top and a hipped tiled roof. The north wall is buttressed and there are flying buttresses on the south wall.
Entry is through the north door into a huge porch under the tower. It is rather a bare building inside. There are big buttresses on either side of the door inside the church, with additional arch supports to the side walls. It has a wooden roof with supporting struts which have a painted center. The round chancel has a spoke arrangement of struts.
The wooden choir stalls around the chancel have tall carved backs and misericords.
There are small carvings of the Stations of the Cross on the walls. The south wall has a large painting of the presentation of Christ at the temple with statues of the Virgin, St Theresa and a crucifix. On the north wall are statues of a pilgrim, St Michael killing the dragon and Joan of Arc. At the back is a very modern red, pink and yellow painting of Christ.
The plain wooden pulpit on the north wall has a painting of Christ wearing a crown of thorns on the back wall.
There is a carved altar rail. The mass altar is a small wooden table. The carved stone high altar has an arcade of pillars on the Base. There is a carving of the feeding of the five thousand and also Jesus teaching in the temple. There are angels at the corners and more angels on the top of the altar. The host box is covered with a green cloth. At the side of the chancel are remains of the original carved capitals. One has a statue of a monk on it.
In an arched niche in the south wall is an old statue of the crowned Virgin. There are brightly colored modern stained glass windows with Biblical scenes, although the window above the altar is 16thc and has pictures of saints.
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