Houry Église Saint-Médard

What you need to know about this church

Église Saint-Médard Houry

Where to find this church

Church Information

Église Saint-Médard is located in Houry, a small village with 56 inhabitants in the Département Aisne about 9 km south-west of the town of Vervins in the Département Aisne in the région Hauts-de-France.

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Houry Église Saint-Médard
Tower from the west

Visiting Église Saint-Médard

Saint-Médard in Houry looks more like a chapel than a church – especially when compared to the neighbouring church of the same name in Prisces, which has one of the most massive keeps of the fortified churches in the Thiérache, and which can be seen from the small church in Houry (see last photo in the slide show).

History has also left its mark on this small, old village, which was mentioned in the 12th century in the documents of the abbeys of Saint-Michel and Thenailles. Here, however, it was not the Spaniards who attacked the village around 1650, but the Frondeurs of Prince de Condé. Houry had to rebuild its church once more.

The result is the astonishing but simple church that we can still admire today, whose façade is mainly made of brick and which is flanked by a mighty tower with a base of limestone and an upper part of brick. Was this beautiful tower, which stands guard next to the modest entrance, built before or after the destruction? Unfortunately, there is no evidence of this.

Inside, the church is even plainer than outside; however, its 16th century pews are special in that they are among the oldest in Thiérache churches.

You can also take a look inside the tower, the door is not locked. But be warned: the intense smell of ammonia will simply knock you over, because the village pigeons live in large numbers on the upper floor of the tower, leaving behind a corresponding amount of pigeon droppings.

Saint-Médard is most similar in appearance to the round tower churches of East Anglia about which I designed my first website. And of course, this small, charming church is therefore my favourite among the many fortified churches of the Thiérache.