THE HISTORY OF BLANOT
In 927, Liébaud and Doda de Brancion donated the village of Blanot to the Abbey of Cluny. The monks organised a rural domain around St. Martin’s Church which, although it never became a deanery, played an essential role in the management of the lands along the road between Cluny and Brancion and, in the 11th century, there were a cellarer and a provost in Blanot.
Not far from there, on the ridge which overlooks all the north of the Maconnais region, the monks set up a small hermitage on the site where there had been a pagan temple in ancient times and maybe, as of the 5th century, a place of worship dedicated to Saint Romain. It would seem that the clunysien oratory on the Mont Saint Romain was frequently used for meditation during the 13th century but then fell into disuse until it was sold during the French Revolution and nothing remains of it.
A MAGNIFICENT SITE IN THE MACONNAIS REGION
The village of Blanot was built around St. Martin’s Church and the adjoining buildings, sometimes erroneously called The priory’. The Romanesque church appears to date back to the late 11th century. A single beamed nave opens onto a slightly salient transept and an apse with a square based bell tower surmounting the crossing; the arches and Lombard bands are romanesque but the protruding roofing dates from the 18th century.
The fabric of the Priory’ dates back to the 15th century. It was built on the site of a merovingian necropolis which dates back to the 6th or 7th century. There are three merovingian graves on the edge of the lane close to the building. The Priory’ was very probably used by secular
administrators of the Cluny domain (the provost ?) The carriage gateway between the Priory’ and the church is doubtless witness of the presence of the former gate-house.