Finnevaux (Houyet): A Thousand Years Old Tower

Right in the middle of the village of Finnevaux stand the ruins of a Romanesque tower classified since 1962. According to some unknown sources, we can affirm that these vestiges remaining are those of the Romanesque church dedicated to Saint Clement. This building would have been erected between 1028 and 1042, under the reign of an abbot of Stavelot, since the village, baptized at the time “Fineval”, depending on this abbey. 

The church would have been built on the ruins of a small feudal castle that belonged to the family of Auxbrebis, lords of Fineval (who owned a blue coat of arms with three silver sheep passing by).

In 1900, the priest ordered the destruction of the medieval nave to recover the materials necessary for the construction of a new church, the one we know today.

The only remaining vestige is the Tower, which is in fact the old bell tower of the Romanesque church. At the foot of this ruin, there is a cave dedicated to Our Lady of Lourdes.

Two tombstones, expropriated during the destruction of the nave, were placed against the façade. These are the funeral stones of Messire Jacques-Toussaint de Lessive and his nephew Hubert-Toussaint who died in 1742 and 1764. 

The base of the tower seems close to the old castle. About five meters above the ground, the tower narrows and the materials change. The year 1765 is inscribed on the front, which seems to indicate that many alterations have been made to doors and windows over the centuries.