About 15 kilometers northwest of Caen there is a quiet valley with an absolute gem of Norman architecture, the parish church of Saint-Pierre de Thaon. A murmuring brook, trees casting shadows on the ancient stones, white cows grazing the lush meadows...
it is just as romantic as described. The place would actually have been ideal for a Cistercian church, yet the Order did not exist then.
Inside the church, which dates from the second half of the eleventh century, a time during which the famous monasteries of William the Conqueror, Saint-Etienne and Sainte-Trinité in Caen were built as well, a far-flung community met for mass.
At its core, the building remained almost untouched. Only the aisles were demolished during the eighteenth century, and the arcades were walled up. Noteworthy are the architectural decoration and the tower.
The church was cautiouslly restored, and excavations are conducted inside. Visits should be possible with an appointment. A group of enthusiasts is trying to preserve this old house of worship.
A good description can be found in:
Musset, Lucien, Romanische Normandie (West), Echter Verlag, Würzburg, 1989
Translation: Erik Eising (M.A.)