Anchin Abbey

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Anchin Abbey
L'abbaye d'Anchin
Cartulaire pecquencourt.JPG
A sixteenth-century view of the abbey
Monastery information
Order Benedictine
Established 1079
Disestablished 1790

Anchin Abbey was a Benedictine monastery founded in 1079 in the commune of Pecquencourt in what is now the Nord department of France.


Aquicintum, later Aquacignium and then Anchin (or Enchin), was a 25 hectare island forming part of the territory of Pecquencourt, between the marais, the river Scarpe and the Bouchart brook.[1]

The hermit and confessor Gordaine[2] built his hermitage on the island in the 8th century)[3] and is sometimes considered the abbey's founder: an anonymous 12th-century painting in the church of Saint-Gilles at Pecquencourt shows his miracles.[4]

In 1096 the abbey was the site of a large tournament, the Tournoi d'Anchin, at which 300 knights from Ostrevent, Hainaut, Cambrésis and Artois fought.[5] An important cultural centre from the 11th to 13th centuries, it produced many manuscripts and charters.[6]

In 1562 Anchin College (now the Lycée Albert-Châtelet) was built by the Jesuits under the abbey's patronage. It was suppressed in the French Revolution, declared state property by the decree of 28 October 1790, sold to François-Joseph Tassart of Douai on 27 March 1792 for 47,700 livres and demolished later that year.


A 13th century gilded copper priest's cross, found at Anchin in 1872 in a tomb, is now in the musée des Beaux-Arts de Valenciennes. The Anchin Retable is a polyptych on wood of c.1551 by the artist Jehan Bellegambe, now held at the musée de la Chartreuse de Douai.[7] The Lille painter Joseph Wamps also produced many works for the abbey, including many sketches destroyed by fire in the First World War.


  1. ^ Enée-Aimé Escalier, L'abbaye d'Anchin, 1079–1792, L. Lefort, Lille, 1852, p. 13 (Google Books)
  2. ^ feast day 16 October
  3. ^ forum - orthodoxe .com : saints for 16 October
  4. ^ Ministère de la culture - Palissy
  5. ^ Paul André Roger, Archives historiques et ecclésiastiques de la Picardie et de l'Artois, Duval & Herment, Amiens, 1842, p. 265-268 (Google Books)
  6. ^ Jean-Pierre Gerzaguet, ed., Les chartes de l'abbaye d'Anchin (1079–1201), Brepols, Turnhout (Belgium), 2005, collection ARTEM, numéro 6, 511 p. ISBN 2-503-52172-X
  7. ^ Flemish Primitives at the musée de Douai Archived December 10, 2008, on Wayback Machine.


  • Jean-Pierre Gerzaguet, L'abbaye d'Anchin de sa fondation (1079) au XIVe siècle : Essor, vie et rayonnement d'une grande communauté bénédictine, Septentrion, 1998, ISBN 2-85939-522-9.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 50°23′11.42″N 3°12′31.31″E / 50.3865056°N 3.2086972°E / 50.3865056; 3.2086972