Champsac

CHAMPSAC, the county town of the canton of Oradour-sur-Vayres, has 2,593 hectares of land and 1,558 inhabitants. Its elevation above the sea is 293 metres towards its northern limit and 402 metres at its southern end. (www.champsac.fr)

Ecclesiastical History 

Champsac was a parish priest of the former archpriest of Nontron, whose patronal feast was the Decolouration of Saint John. By the end of the 18th century, it had 1,400 communicants (about 1,867 inhabitants). The bishop of Limoges always appointed the parish priests; there are appointments made by him from 1500 until the revolution.

These are the ones whose names are known :
- Nicolas du Puy-Faucon, died in 1341.
- Martial de Mons, before 1540.
- François de La Roche took possession in 1555.
- Jean Texier, who was then canon of the cathedral, 1573.
- François de Brie, Doctor of Theology, 1628-1640.
– N… Pinot, 1663.
- N. Nadaud, 1671.
- Léonard Descordes, 1671-1692.
- Jean des Ternes de Cheyrade, Doctor of Theology, 1692, died in 1731.
- Pierre de Laplaigne, 1731-1756.
– N… Robert, 1756.
- Joseph Gérald, 1757-1763.
- Jacques Cosse, 1763-1787.
- François Caudeix de La Borderie, le 9 june 1787.
- Martial Lemaçon, le 15 september 1787. I was deported to Spain. During his absence, and after La Terreur, Jean-Baptiste Massaloux, his vicar, held the curial functions from 17 May 1795 to 20 September 1797. Martial Lemaçon returned to Champsac at the Concordat, was again appointed parish priest, and died in 1806.
- Pierre Jacquet, le 1er august 1806.
- Jean-Baptiste Labrousse de Brogniat, le 1er october 1806.
- Léonard Germain, 1810-1813.
- Pierre Jacquet, 1813-1825.
- François Juge, 1825-1837.
- Léonard Larue, 1837-1849.
- Jean Chrysosthôme Lacouchie, 1849-1862.
- Antoine Lecler, 1862-1885.
- Jean Martin Petit, 1885.

The church of Champsac, measured internally, is 27 meters long and 6 meters 50 wide; it is a Romanesque construction that has been repaired at several times and in particular in 1628-1646, dates that can be found on the doors. The stone bell tower, which once stood on the transept, was demolished and replaced in 1850 by a wooden tower at the end of the nave.

Vitraux champsac

The bell bears this inscription: Sancte Johannes Baptista and Sancte Fiacri, orate pro nobis. - Godfather François Coustin, knight, lord of Mas-Nadaut; godmother Yzabeau de Camain, wife of Jean de Brie, squire, sieur de Mateguerre. Estant sindics, Me Jean Nadaut, nre, and Mre Jacques Buisson, shoemaker, Mre Barbe nre royal. -Noble Sir François de Brie, doctor of theology, parish priest. The year of grace 1628. - Pierre Charpentier made me weak.”  Another small bell out of service reads, in gothic letters "Ave Maria."

The church of Champsac had another one that was taken to it during the Revolution. The parish registers make it known to us by this note: "In the present month of September 1751, we melted and rebuilt the second bell of our church in Champsac. The godfather was Mre Louis de Beaupoil de Ste Aulaire. seigneur de Gorre, and godmother Marie de Beaupoil de Ste Aulaire, his daughter. I, the undersigned parish priest, did the blessing of said bell, on the 10th of the month and year that on it. It weighs about nine quintals. Laplaigne, parish priest of Champsac."

On July 16, 1587, Marguerite de La Rochefoucauld, widow of Claude de Bourbon-Busset, count of Châlus, etc., walked with François Limousin, painter of the city of Limoges, “to paint the churches of Lageyrac, Doumazac, La Chapelle-Montbrandeix, Champsac and Pageas, a belt outside and inside the temples of the said churches with the arms of the said lord.”  I, the undersigned parish priest, did the blessing of said bell, on the 10th of the month and year that on it. It weighs about nine quintals. Laplaigne, parish priest of Champsac."


These weapons are of azure with three flowers of gold lily, with the stick of mouths perished in band; to the chief of Jerusalem who is of silver, to the chubby cross of gold quartered of four crosses of the same.

Champsac’s presbytery was sold as a national property on 17 Thermidor an IV (4 August 1796), for the sum of 1,800 francs. (Archives de la Haute-Vienne, Q 151.).  In 1274, there was a leper infirmary in Champsac.

  • Localities

The following villages can be found in this municipality :

Bas Bady.
Boussilles (Les).
Bramefort.
Branchie (La).

Chandos ou Chandeau. — Martial Nadaud, a squire, born at Champsac Castle in 1558, is said to be lord of Champsac and Champdose (probably Chandos). His son Jacques left a legacy, represented at Champsac until 1776.

Chez Brisebois.
Chez Elie.
Clarétis (Les).

Courrière (La). — Near this village, 300 meters from the village, a small square chapel, with a simple construction, was built in 1532, in honour of Saint Roch, by a lady owner of the place of La Courrière, in execution of a vow that she had made to obtain, through the intercession of this saint, the healing of all the cattle in his fields, at a time when a contagious disease was rampant in the country.

Croix (La). 
Cros.
Curmont.
Dougneix (Le).
Gabillou.
Gorce (La).
Jouandoux (Les).

Jouveaux. — It is called “Mottes de Jouveaux”, two tumulus that are 58 metres apart. The first is in the commune of Champagnac; it was destroyed by ploughing the land where it was. The second is in the commune of Champsac; it was searched in 1889. We collected a very nice vase made in turn, a very oxidized cutlass, a large fibula, iron nails and a bronze nail.

Grateloube. — There is a report of an underground refuge in this village.
Graullier.
Judie (La).
Lande (La).
Lande de Chandos, alias Chez-Ligat.
Landou (Le).
Lépine.
Lussac.
Maissonneuve.
Mas du Puy.
Maurie (La).
Messac.
Monnerie (La).
Moulin du Cros.
Moulin du Sage.
Nailhac.
Parade (La), alias Paradis.
Petavigne (La).
Plaisance.
Pradelles.
Pressouéras.
Roche (La).
Soude-Vieille.
Therme (Le).
Verdier (Le).
Vergnole (La). 
Vigne (La). 

Source : Dictionnaire historique et géographique de la Haute-Vienne, de l'Abbé André Lecler (1834-1920) - Archives 87