Eglise Notre-Dame du Clocher, Noguès

A church who’s origins date back to the XIIth century and dedicated to Damme Descoiems, when it would have been smaller and without a clocher (bell tower/steeple), The church was called until the 16th and 17th centuries Notre-Dame Descoemps and only from the 18th century called the Eglise Notre-Dame du Clocher. Strangely on modern maps its location is in La Clouquet, on the Carte de l’Etat Major, it is listed as Eglise Succursale (? a fixed place of business which generally gives rise to income or value-added tax liability in a particular jurisdiction) and the old Cassini maps as simply Lac

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During the 15th century, the church nave was lengthened, The bell tower was built during this change. It is built on a square base and an octagonal roof. In 1703, on November 6th, Eveque du Couserans, Gabriel de Saint-Esteven, visits the église paroissiale Notre-Dame Descoemps and he gave a sermon to 250 people, finding the church and its ornaments in good condition.

Finally, in the 18th century the nave was enlarged to the north. The Mairie de Lescure keeps a register of the municipality for the year 1856 and found at intervals regular calls for repairs to each of the three churches in Lescure. The necessary funds are lacking, Grants are denied, loans and legacies only help very little in the face of the large sums required, in 1891, disaster, the mayor reminds the city Council that as a result of the cut of budgets, the wall to the vault of the Eglise du Clocher has fallen, the exercise of worship is suspended during the winter and spring of 1891.  An ancient church, dedicated to the patron saint of the parish of Lescure and around it which it is situated its main cemetery, held very dear to the local population.

About twenty years later it was repaired. Unfortunately. It will not today to repair the interior of the ruin. It is only the roof, the tiles in fact, that they are planning to repair, disasters follow one another and the bell tower, which was repaired by M. Martin, has cracked again and he is brought to justice, but the crisis is blazing towards the end of 1895.  In August, the Eglise de Clocher and the church called “de Lescure” (the one in the centre of the village), are both declared as needing major repairs. The estimate for the “de Lescure” Eglise is 1700 francs, the price for repairs of the Eglise de l’Clocher 2000 francs. The budget is voted on, but on 15th December during a meeting of the City Council. The mairie receives a letter from the prefect that he reads aloud to the councillors and the opinions of this meeting concluded that : The Eglise du Clocher, which is isolated and by no means within reach of the majority of the population of the parish, is public oratory and has no right in that capacity for the municipality to take charge of its costs , to maintain or repair. That there was no reason why the exercise of parish worship may in the future sometimes be tolerated in whole or in part in this building… And that, therefore, the bishop is of the opinion that the public oratory, called the Eglise du Clocher, for the maintenance or repair costs should be left to those interested and that the Eglise de Lescure be the beneficiary of all the money available and that it be enlarged. The Prefect declares the same opinion.

Anger, amazement, revolt erupt, a secretary gives us the record of this session, The Council has contrary to the opinion of the bishop called the Eglise du Clocher as located in the centre of the parish and it is not at all a public oratory but a large church, restored about 20 years ago and whose repairs cost about 18 000 francs, which proves that then, as today, it was the parish church, because one would not have been allowed to spend such a strong sum for a mere oratory, in the eyes of the whole population it is this church that is Parish and not the oratory of the village of Lescure… The Bishop’s claims are only a fabric of errors, undoubtedly involuntary on his part, Finally, considering that the municipal assembly more than anyone has sufficient knowledge to determine the importance of each of the two religious buildings in the Parish, That it has been appointed to properly administer the taxpayers ‘ money and to it’s appeals for it will not serve the personal grudges of persons foreign to the commune, that in the eyes of all the population the Eglise du Clocher is the most useful and always has been

An Appeal was made to the Minister of Cults, who relied on the act of 5 April 1884 to say that only the Eglise de Lescure (“Public oratory” of the mayor and councillors) can benefit from the normal funds of the Municipality). In May 1896 , councillors declared themselves ready to pay the costs of the works to the Eglise du Cloche but on December 17, 1899, the report of the Council meeting reveals that this work was never done and that the Eglise du Clocher, “as a result of strong winds, rain, thunderstorms, suffered damage. February 16, 1908, the roof is on the verge of collapse and immediate reparations had to be made.

Finally, in 1928, the abandonment of the Eglise du Clocher, and the cemetery, which serve now as no more than a place of remembrance. Listed as a monument historique on the 6th June 2012, an association (loi 1901) was created 2006 by a group habitants of the nearby village of Lescure, Works carried out since include securing the southern wall of the church (2008) New Roof of The bell tower (2010) Restoration of the vault of the steeple (2015).

2018