One of the most southerly municipalities in the Niort Agglomeration Community, on the border of the Deux-Sèvres and Charente-Maritime, the smallest and most sparsely populated of the canton of Mauzé-sur-le-Mignon, Priaire(s), which can be written with or without a final s, is mentioned for the first time in 1044 in the cartulary of the abbey of Saint-Jean-d'Angély and belonged to the Aunis region, under the jurisdiction of the generality and election of La Rochelle, then of the Deux-Sèvres in 1790. Its territory was formerly in one of the Cognac appellation zones. The vineyard, cultivated over a large area, produced an excellent brandy until the phylloxera crisis of 1873, which gradually gave way to cooperative dairies and cereal crops. In 2019, the village merges with Usseau and Thorigny-sur-le-Mignon to form the new commune of Val-du-Mignon and becomes a delegated commune with the chief town being Usseau. With its rural character, it is now home to the only farm in the department to be certified as sustainable agriculture and a tobacco producer. It is by taking the time to stroll along the Sudden and la Coudre that we discover the richness of the built heritage strongly inspired by the architecture of the neighbouring Charente department. Its warm limestone hillock is also conducive to the development of about thirty varieties of orchids growing in woods and along berms (narrow paths between a canal and an earthen embankment): Goat orchid, Spider orchid, Woodcock orchid, Hanging man orchid, Bird's nest neottie...
What to see in Priaire(s)?
01. The Church of Our Lady
In a charter of July 1039, William I, Lord of Parthenay (990-1054), invited by Pope John XIX to take the abbey of Saint-Jean-d'Angély under his protection, granted it the court (curtis) of Priaire(s). This donation is the origin of the foundation of the priory (now disappeared). Formerly dependent on the diocese of Saintes and the archpriesthood of Surgères, the church was joined to the parish ofUsseau in 1813. It replaces the old sanctuary whose poverty was highlighted by the 1688 and 1718 visits.
What to see: Baptismal font from 1629 and a curious bell tower-wall with a bracketed arch and a cross.