As you push open the door of the Church of St Yves in La Roche-Maurice, and step into the gloom your eyes gradually become accustomed to the dim light and you find an exuberant display of colour and carvings – this is a wonderfully restored church, and a delight to visit. It is also a glorious building in which to sit quietly.
The Glory Beam towers above the Rood Screen.
The Rood Screen dates from 1570-80 and carved from oak with fantastical as well as biblical figures, and richly painted.
The stringbeams, sablières, are fascinating. There are scenes from farming life, musicians, gargoyles, and funerals.
And then there are the stained glass windows. The main window behind the high altar is from 1539 and signed by Laurent Le Sodec, although probably made in the workshop and as such produced by a team of people. There is also a suggestion that the windows were copies of engravings in circulation at the time, and these would have included engravings by Dürer. The main centres for the production of stained glass in Brittany were Tréguier, Rennes, and Quimper where the Le Sodec workshop was based. (Fascinating article here on the workshop.)
A magical place…
The history of the church of St Yves