Notre Dame du Gard
Abbey & Brewery
In 1137, the Abbey of Gard was founded in Crouy, 18 km from Amiens
The abbey was founded 39 years after that of Citeaux and 22 years after that of Clairvaux by Meynard and twelve monks from the Cistercian abbey of Cherlieu, near Vesoul.
The name “Gard” comes from the Celtic word “warder” (= to keep) which evokes a military post at the crossing of the Somme. Completed in 1139 the monastery received a visit from Saint Bernard.
1790: The National Assembly abolishes monastic vows and removes religious orders. The monks of Gard disperse and the abbey is sold. The abbey is then three-quarters destroyed.
1816: Seven Trappists of the Cistercian reform of Rancé settle in Gard.
1826: Some of them go to found ND du Mont des Cats.
1845: Dom Stanislas and his monks leave the Gard for Sept-Fons in the Allier because of the railway which passes in front, cutting their property in the middle. This is the Amiens-Boulogne line which had just been built. This "pleasure" train disturbed the monks and, moreover, carried women.
A religious, Father Libermann, having visited it during a trip to Picardy in August 1835 (then subsequently purchased), spoke about Notre Dame du Gard by mail to one of his correspondents: "After many difficulties, of pain and loss of time, Notre Dame du Gard is ours, our theologians and our philosophers are there twenty-eight [...] Me, I go there twice a week during our walks. The Maison du Gard is magnificent; the church is very beautiful and spacious, the courtyards and gardens very large, the farmyard buildings too considerable; moreover, laundry, oven, brewery, etc. "
Less pleasant, an extract from the “Journal de Seine et Marne” of September 30, 1843 is however more precise: “In addition, as they do almost everything they need at home, there is in the abbey, a workshop for the brother shoemaker, another for the blacksmith and the wheelwright, the bakery of the brother baker, and a brewery to make the bad beer they and their guests drink. It is not worth the 900 fr. annual fees that they pay to the state, and more than once I said to myself while tasting it: what is the taxman going to get from this?"