The "historical" trappist breweries

The abbey of Notre Dame du Gard (France)

Cistercian period

  • 1137: (24 of August) Foundation in Croy (Crouy, about 18 km far from Amiens), on a land belonging to Gérard de Picquigny, of the abbey of Gard, 39 years after Citeaux and 22 years after Clairvaux. The abbey was founded by Meynard and twelve monks of the cistercian abbey of Cherlieu, near Vesoul. The name «Gard» probably commes from the celtic word «warder» (= to guard) that evokes a military base in the county of Somme.
  • 1139: The monastery was not finished but St. Bernard came and visited it.
  • 1790: The french parliament voted the abolition of the monastic vows and suppressed the religious orders. Monks of the Gard went away and the abbey was sold.
  • 1792: 75% of the abbey was destroyed.

Trappist period

  • 1816: Seven trappist monks arrived in the abbey of Gard.
  • 1824: The church was rebuilt. One can still see it nowadays (ruins).
  • 1840: Dom Stanislas, the successor of Dom Germain, acted for the rebuilding of the monastery. Mr. Hardy, director of the seminary of the Holy Spirit, helped him by publishing a book about this rebuilding.
  • 1845: (september) Dom Stanislas and his monks left the abbey of Gard and went to Sept Fons, because of the railway then crossing their property. (the railway line Amiens-Boulogne had just been built). This train "for pleasure" (it allowed people to go to the sand beaches of Boulogne), disturbed the monks and, moreover, women were allowed to take it .

A religious, father Libermann, visited the abbey of Gard in 1835, and spoke of Our Lady of Gard in one of his mails : 

"After many difficulties and loss of time, Our Lady of Gard now belongs to us. Our theologists and philosophers are now over twenty-height ; moreover, Mr Ratier, Eugène and Séclau and height monks are there also. Mr Schwindenhammer, Clair and Lannurien are responsible for the leading of the house. I go there twice a week. The house of Gard is magnificent, the church is very beautiful and spacious, the courtyard and the gardens are very big, the buildings of the poultry yard are huge ; moreover there is a laundry, ovens, and a brewery..."

This is one of the very few testimonies existing about this brewery (source : congrégation du Saint Esprit)


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