Last modified: 2022-03-05 by ivan sache
Keywords: saint-martin-la-garenne |
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Flag of Saint-Martin-la-Garenne - Image by Olivier Touzeau, 18 July 2021
The municipality of Saint-Martin-la-Garenne (928 inhabitants in 2109; 1,575 ha; municipal website) is located in a loop of river Seine, 10 km north-west of Mantes-la-Jolie.
Saint-Martin was known in the Middle Ages as Sancti Martini de Varenna / Sanctus Martinus in Garenna. In 1081, Hilduin, Viscount of Mantes, and his son, William, offered the church of Saint-Martin and the neighboring domains to the Abbey of Bec-Hellouin, a donation which was subsequently confirmed by the king of France and by Pope Callixtus II. The Benedictine priory was suppressed during the French Revolution, leaving only the chapel, known as the monks' chapel, which was inscribed in 1937 as an historical monument.
The big parish included Saint-Martin, the hamlets of Herville, Le Coudray, La Désirée, Sandrancourt, Cléry and la Ville Neuve, as well as the villages of Dennemont and Guernes. In 1686, a report by the dean of Magny stated that the church was "ruined and too small to welcome the 2,000 communicants."
François de La Rochefoucault, lord of La Roche-Guyon, became in 1657 lord of Saint-Martin, and, in 1721, lord of Herville.
Sandrancourt was once owned by the Lorsgillent family. The bell of the St. Ann chapel was swung during thunderstorms. According to the legend, a voice in the clouds shooting "Push, push" was immediately answered "I can't, St. Ann swings".
In La Désirée, now a ruined hamlet, Charles V, lost in the Arthies forest during a hunting party, spotted the tower of the parish church after having invoked the Blessed Virgin. As a reward, he let build in 1376 a chapel that was destroyed in 1793, leaving only the statue of Notre-Dame-la-Désirée, kept now in the parish church.
Ivan Sache, 14 August 2021
The flag of Saint-Martin-la-Garenne (photo) is white with the municipal coat of arms, "Or ten billets gules in fess 3 + 2 + 3 + 2".
Different traces indicate that the arms of Saint-Martin were those of the Ver family. One of its members, who could be identified as the lord of Saint-Martin, was among the crusaders who supported Godfrey of Bouillon in his struggle against the infidels.
[Municipal website (archived)]
Olivier Touzeau & Ivan Sache, 14 August 2021