The Templar house at Feuilloux - a commandery for sale

Not often a Templar commandery is for sale. Therefore the putting up for sale of the House of the Temple at Feuilloux, Nièvre (58), France deserves some attention.

The former commandery at Feuilloux (also called "Loge Feuilloux), south of Avril-sur-Loire, formerly in the Bourbonnais, depended on Croix-au-Bost (Saint-Domet, Creuse Department) during Hospitaller times (after 1314s). The hamlet consisted of a parish church, house, barn and estate, land, meadows, woods, pond, justice, tithes and pensions. 

The 12th century Templar chapel still exists and, quite unusually, it faces almost north. Some sources suggest that the chapel dates from 1119 which is highly improbable, as at that time the Militia of the Temple had only recently been founded in Jerusalem, and donations in the West had not yet occurred in a significant way.  

The chapel has an unvaulted nave, ending in an apse in the cul-de-four.  The walls built in fine apparatus up to the height of the buttresses and in rubble stone for the nave, are decorated with corbels sculpted with masks. Above the square door of the chapel, on a pediment we can distinguish a cross with the characters A and Ω in the lower corners. On the same stone is the following inscription: pax huic domui bene fondatae supra firmam petvam domus domini” (peace to this house well founded upon the firm foundation of the house of the lord). The threshold of the chapel consists of a tombstone on which we can see a fleur-de-lys and a head, and a decoration of two shields. One bears the arms of Burgundy-Nevers, and the other bears that of the Order of Malta.

Adjacent to the chapel are the residential buildings, said to be mainly of Hospitaller times, so early 14th century at the earliest. The main building is flanked to the north by a staircase tower surmounted by a pavilion roof. Inside the residence, in the current kitchen, a fireplace is surmounted by another shield bearing the arms of the Knights of Malta. All the buildings together occupied a square of which the chapel formed the south side. 

Rural establishments like these provided part of the funding for the Orders'activities in the Holy Land. But no doubt they did not see many knights in arms. The dress, there, was rather the homespun dress. Because, apart from the commander, the brothers were monks, priests and even lay people for some. And the activities were far removed from the fighting in the Holy Land. 

At the commandery of Loges-Feuilloux the Templar brothers lived sparingly. Their land holdings (meadows, ponds, woods and copses) probably brought in just enough to run the establishment and pay the taxes to the Order, valuable sources to finance the presence in the Holy Land. 

Having become a farm later, the commandery buildings had to suffer many outrages. The chapel was transformed into a hayloft and an opening surmounted by a metal beam was made in the eastern wall of the nave to bring in the trailers. 

The commandery of Loges-Feuilloux passed from hand to hand. After the time of the Temple, it fell into the heritage of the Hospitallers of Saint John of Jerusalem, then passed on to the Knights of Malta who downgraded it to a simple establishment. As said earlier, at that time the house depended on the commandery of Croix-au-Bost (Saint-Domet, Creuse Department), itself under the authority of the prior of Auvergne. At the end of the Ancien Régime (ca 1800), Avry-sur-Loire was a seigneury belonging to the Dreuille family. 

The main body of the text is composed of rearranged quotes in French from, translated to English by TN. Information from Wikipedia was added. In 2023 the site was put up for sale at the site Figaro Immobilier, which was consulted on February 4, 2023. Go there for 35 pictures of the estate. All Templar sites in the Nièvre Department can be found on this map. The illustration shows an aerial photo from the site derived from the map mentioned (source Google Maps).

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