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In 1192 the Cistercian Abbey du Pin at Beruges gave Rimbard and the territory to the Brothers of the Hospital ones of St Jean de Jerusalem who were resident in the Commanderie in Lavausseau.  The Commanderie was built in the same year, 1192, by the Guards or Knights, who were historically protectors of a hospital built in Jerusalem before the first crusade.

Known under the shortened name of Hospital or Knights of the Hospital the order was founded after the creation of the Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem and had approval of pope Pascal the 2nd in 1113.

It is documented that at that time Rimbard consisted of a house, outbuildings, arable land, meadow, Moulin and wood.  The rent that had to be paid by the Knights of the Hospital consisted of  ‘thirty septiers of small rye, and fifteen septiers of good wheat’.  This had to be paid yearly ‘ eight days after the fete of the Nativity of Notre-Dame’.  The rent was to be paid at Rimbard.

The area around Poitiers has an ancient connection with King Richard and his mother Eleanor of Aquitaine. It is quite possible that Rimbard may well have seen King Richard between 1192 and to his death in 1199, during which time he spent fighting to regain territories in France.  Eleanor of Aquitaine, who was Countess of Poitiers, had a Palace at Poitiers.

- Our research into the history of Rimbard

Parchenin de 1192, conservé aux archives départementales de la Vienne.

King Richard the Lionheart was crowned in 1189.  In 1190 he set out on a Crusade to the Holy Land.  He failed in his attempt to take Jerusalem and set off for home in 1192.  He was however captured and was held captive by Henry VI of Germany for over a year until a large ransom was raised in England to free him.  He spent the rest of his life fighting to regain territories in France.  Seven years later Richard was fatally wounded during the siege of Chalus.  The Abbot, Pierre Milon was the chaplain of King Richard, he was also the Abbot of the Abbey du Pin at Beruges.  He administered The Last Rites and accompanied the body to Fontevrault.  King Richard only spent six months in England during his entire reign.

There is a lack of documented evidence until 1632 when the Vienne Register records that the Moulin de Rimbard had a ‘ wheel, stones for grinding cereal, grain store, vegetable plot, stables and a yard of 42 square metres.

On the 23rd April 1656 there is a record of a baptism of Marie, the baby daughter of Jonas Billerot of the Moulin de Rimbard in the Chapel of Rimbard.  The Chapel still stands today and is at the entrance of our courtyard.  It is believed this was a Protestant Ceremony.

Rimbard Manor 1979

During the Second World War the Germans occupied Lavausseau.  They took up residence in the Commanderie.  There is whispered talk of the treasure that was at Rimbard being hidden.   We have yet to find any treasure, but we are still looking...

Rimbard from the air  1998

Following the persecution of the Protestants of Lavausseau, the next documented evidence is on the 8th November 1700 when the Chapel of Rimbard received a Benediction by Lord Lelet, Priest of the Chapel of Rimbard.  The owner of Rimbard Manor at that time was Adrien Chenier who was Councillor to King Louis 14th, the Sun King, and a Magistrate Judge at Poitiers.

On the 24th October 1717 a Catholic marriage ceremony was celebrated in the Chapel of Rimbard.

After the storming of the Bastille prison on the 14 th July 1789, and the ensuing Revolution, very little documentary evidence remains.  It would seem that Rimbard Manor continued as a working farm.

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