Medieval grange, steward's lodge, and later logis of the commentatory abbots

During the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, commendatory abbots often replaced abbots elected by the community in French monasteries. These men were appointed by the king to administer the temporal holdings of a religious house. While they were often members of the clergy, commendatory abbots were seldom members of the religious communities they ruled, and were only rarely in residence there. A commendatory abbot usually had a separate, elaborate residence with garden. At Saint-Jean-des-Vignes, commendatory abbots ruled from 1566 until the French Revolution. In the medieval period, the building probably served as a stables or grange (or both), and probably contained the office of the abbey steward, as well. This medieval grange was refurbished to serve as the commendatory abbot’s residence in the mid-sixteenth century, with private garden to the west.