Saint Victors Abbey, Normandy

The early Mortimer family held the land of St Victors in Upper Normandy from an early time and this became their caput in 1054 when they lost their original caput of Mortemer-en-Bray, the vill from which they took their surname.

Roger Mortimer (d.1078+) and his second wife, Advisa or Hawise, the mother of the first Ralph Mortimer of Wigmore, raised the priory that stood here into an abbey in 1074. A copy of the original document still exists which was witnessed by King William I and his half-brother, Bishop Odo of Bayeaux. The abbey then became the heart of the Mortimer possessions in the Anglo-Norman realm and remained so until Hugh Mortimer (d.1181) founded Wigmore abbey in 1172, when this became their spiritual home. Many original Mortimer documents were preserved at St Victors and these show us a great deal of their early ancestry and landholdings in both Normandy and England.

The much reduced abbey is still in use as a church, but most of the conventional buildings are reduced to a few ruins standing next to the Mortimer's old castle of St Victor.

Copyright©2013 Paul Martin Remfry

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