History of the priory

The priory is a monastery dated from Xth century. It is located at the heart of the “Livradois Forez”, only a few kilometers from Ambert in the Puy de Dome.

It has been built in 926 by Alfred II Conte d’Auvergne and Baffie Bertrand.

Subsidiary of Sauxillanges and Cluny priory, the benedictin priory of Chaumont was the third of Livradois after Chaise Dieu and Sauxillanges.

Chaumont priory was very well known for its knowledge in science and piety. It had under its responsability a high number of churches :

  • Sainte Marie de Beurrières
  • Saint Jean d’Ambert
  • Notre Dame de Marsac
  • Saint Just de Baffie
  • Saint crois de Baffie
  • Saint Blaise de Grandif

Since 1151, religious certainly had the right of justice in the enclosure of the priory. Burnt in the 15th century by the English, the priory has been plundered by the Calvinist of Captain Merle.

History kept the identity of few priors: Dom Rebain in 965 and Didier in 1114.

In 1604, Don Lyos Gallambrun yielded the brood to the “minimes” religious order and what has been confirmed by Paul V Pope.

Saint François Régis -1640- chairman of lacemakers was profesor at Billom University. He stayed at Chaumont and established the spindle laces in the region.

At the early 17th century, we mention « the paradise bird » legend attached to the priory.

In 1696, « les minimes » of Chaumont registered their weapons at the French general armorial.

Father Anselme and the « bird paradise » at Chaumont priory.

Close from « de Beurrières », the old priory of Chaumont founded in the 11th century by Count d’Auvergne, is now a familial residence. Saint François-Régis also resided there. First the monestary was the “Sauxillanges Bénédictins” property and then, in 1504, it passes to the “Minimes”.

We tell about it the « paradise bird » story. A monk from the convent, father Anselme, was used to devote itself to deep meditations. One day, he went to the “Bois-des-Pères” in order to make his daily prayer. He saw, flying in front of him, such a beautiful bird that he tried to catch it. He start running after it but always the bird escaped to him then returned to still move away. Suddenly, the monk thought it was time to get back home.

It took the way of the return, but all appeared changed to him: what was a meadow before was a wood at this time and instead of corn, grass was growing… However he arrived at the monastery which was unrecognizable: Neither he recognized the gatekeeper, nor the superior he asked to see. They were not two hours but two centuries the monk passed running after the marvellous bird.

The Bridge of Masselère (16th century) is also an achievement of the monks de Chaumont. Its two broken arches span today a meadow because “la Dore” changed its course. The beautiful granite cross (15th century) in the village of Masselèbre is probably also their work.