Manot is a small and pretty village with a population of about 600, situated on the west bank of the Vienne river in the Charente department (now part of the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region since a recent government reorganisation!)
Manot's well preserved 12th century Saint-Martial Church was listed in 1985 as an historic monument. The church is built of local granite in typical plain Gothic style, which architecture originated in France at about the time this church was built, so it could well be one of the first!!
The lighter coloured inset panel over the doorway is made of limestone and is intricately carved with angels, apostles and evangelists. The panel was unfortunately defaced during the religious wars of the 16th century and bears the scars to this day!
The nave, looking down to the altar set in an apse (the hemi-spherical part at the end)
The interior is plain, but the craftsmanship in the stonework and plastering, with its intricate curves and arches, is readily apparent!
Opposite interior view, looking towards the front door, with a viewing gallery above
Spiral staircase to the viewing gallery. Note what I believe to be a stone font at rear left.
The ubiquitous Joan of Arc statue!
Large old townhouse built in the style of King Louis XIII of France, who lived from 1601 to 1643. The wealthy owners of this house, the Mothe-Fenelon family, included an archbishop in their number. The family also owned a local chateau and a further chateau with land in Perigord (in the adjoining department of Dordogne).
Old water pump and well. It probably still works, although I didn't try it! All the pavements around the church have been restored with cobbles.
Interesting veranda with modern garage craftily inserted below. A good vantage point on top, from which to spy on the neighbours!
Viaduc de la Sonnette near the hamlet of Grand Madieu. It was built between the years 1902 and 1905 to carry a single rail track across the Sonnette river valley; many country railway lines, including this one, have been torn up, but the viaduct structure still exists for walkers and cyclists to use and enjoy. Some of its foundations had to be sunk 10 metres (33 feet) below ground to find a firm base in the soft riverine geology.
A more distant view of the 209 metre (700 feet) long viaduct 25 metres (83 feet) high, with its 11 arches. It was one of the last to be built in stone, at a time just before reinforced concrete revolutionised engineering works, thus its historical importance was recognised in 2001 when it was protected. A grand sight it is!