Signy-le-Petit Église Saint-Nicolas

What you need to know about this church

Église Saint-Nicolas Signy-le-Petit

Where to find this church

Church Information

Église Saint-Nicolas is located in  Signy-le-Petit, a commune with 1.186  inhabitants in the Département Ardennes in the region Grand Est.

The church is open

This church was listed as a historical monument in 1926

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Tower from north-west

Visiting Église Saint-Nicolas

The village of Signy-le-Petit was founded in 1214 on the basis of an edict by Nicolas de Rumigny, but at that time it was no more than a farm occupied by the religious of Bucilly and only became a market town in 1216.

The old church in the village – like many others in the region – was burnt down by the Spanish in 1636. Saint-Nicolas (which not coincidentally bears the name of the founder of the village) as we know it today was rebuilt from the middle of the 17th century. Three dates indicate this: 1656 on the weir bay at the head; 1680 as a wrought-iron anchor on the tower; and 1684 on the keystone of the vault in the first bay of the nave.

The church has a Latin cross floor plan 36 metres long, 10.66 metres wide and 12 metres high under the vault, with no aisles (see the slideshow for the floor plan).
The huge walls – 3 metres thick at the base of the tower, 1 metre at the nave and transept – are made of quartz slate, a rarity in the region. And you won’t find thicker walls in the Ardennes, probably not even in the whole Thiérache.

Numerous defensive elements are still visible: a locked maschicule above the portal; two “echauguettes” (projecting turrets) at a height of ten metres at the portal tower, supported by beautiful moulded plinths of white stone; two small echauguettes at each end of the transept; traces of defensive cores above the window openings.

The church is open, but the interior is much less interesting than the exterior.

Tower from south-west