Tuesday, October 18, 2022 took place the inauguration of the construction site of Notre-Dame d'Ourscamp Abbey, classified as a historic monument, funded under the national recovery plan.

Le sous-préfet de Compiègne pose la première pierre du chantier de l'abbaye de Notre-Dame d'Ourscamp
Pose de la première pierre par le sous-préfet de Compiègne, Jean-Paul Vicat

The Congregation of the Servants of Jesus and Mary, builder of the yard, Jean-Paul Vicat, Deputy Prefect of Compiègne, accompanied by Franck Sénant, Deputy Regional Director Delegate for the Patrimonies of the Drac Hauts-Hauts-de France laid the foundation stone for the construction of the Notre-Dame d'Ourscamp abbey, located in the municipality of Chiry-Ourscamp (Oise). 

They then discovered the scope of the project during a visit to the site, commented by Alice Capron-Valat, heritage architect, Nasca agency, and project manager.

Visite du chantier de l'abbaye Notre-Dame D'ourscamp
Visite du chantier de l'abbaye Notre-Dame D'Ourscamp avec l'architecte du patrimoine, Alice Capron-Valat

A new life for the Lorraine wing 


The Lorraine wing of the abbey suffered considerable damage following the bombing of the First World War. As part of the France Relance Plan, the State is supporting the project with €910,930 in aid for the first phase of work, which totals €3,275,038.

The operation, initiated in 2021, consists mainly of working on the treatment priorities of the building, at the closed and covered level in order to ensure that it is put out of water and out of air associated with a sanitation work, as well as purging recent interior masonry. 

At the end of this work, which should last 4 years, the wing of Lorraine will host a shelter and a winter chapel for the Congregation of the Servants of Jesus and Mary. 

A responsible project 

In partnership with Pôle emploi, this restoration project is accompanied by a social component. The specifications presented to the companies require the insertion of a percentage of workers away from employment in the restoration and rehabilitation site, with particular attention to young people who leave school without qualifications or professional experience.

It is also part of a Green Yard charter. Companies are committed to the treatment and recycling of waste and materials.

For example, sheet metal from the old roof is recycled on the roof of an agricultural building, old concrete has been crushed and then used for fill, and the materials used have a reduced environmental impact. Finally, companies are attentive to good management and use of water and electricity. 

The history of Our Lady of Ourscamp Abbey 

On the site of a former oratory founded by Saint Eloi in 641, the Abbey of Our Lady of Ourscamp was established in 1129 by Saint Bernard at the request of Simon of Vermandois, bishop of Noyon and cousin of the king of France Louis VI le Gros. It became one of the most important Cistercian monasteries in Northern France.