1 Church (still in existence) – 2 Cloister (ruins) – 3 Thought to be the position of the covered fountain – 4 Narthex (ruins) – 5 Chapel or sacristy (ruins) – 6 Building which contained the chapter house, the parloir, a corridor and on the first floor, the monks’ dormitory (reconstruction) – 7 Hospital building (foundations of the château) – 8 Forge (part still in existence) – 9 Mill (in existence until a few decades ago) – 10 Lay brothers’ building – 11 Warming room, refectory, kitchen (reconstruction) – 12 Boundary wall (reconstruction) – 13 Outbuildings (part still in existence)
Gaucher and Etienne, brothers and the lords of Divonne, called on the monks of Balerne (Franche Comté) to build a house of prayer at Bonus Mons, which later became Bonmont.
Bonmont was part of the Cistercian order, which saw exceptional growth under the leadership of Saint Bernard. On his instructions, building work began on a proper church for the monks, who until then seem to have lived in hermits’ cells, grouped around a simple chapel.
With building works complete, it seems that the church was consecrated in the presence of Saint Bernard and Pope Eugène III, who were staying in Lausanne in 1147. Bonmont was the first foundation of the White (Cistercian) monks in Upper Burgundy and the second in what is now Switzerland. The monks of Bonmont will have made a considerable contribution to the country’s agricultural economy at the start of the Middle Ages.
It is still a model of Cistercian architecture.
The cloister served as a graveyard for many of the nobility in the 13th century. Later, the monastery, one of the richest in the country, was to experience difficulties.
The abbey was secularised and became agricultural property, under the ownership of the rulers of Berne. The church was used as a barn, the choir, narthex and south transept were destroyed. Soldiers from Berne occupied the Vaud. They destroyed the cloister and used the church as a barn, dairy and housing. Later still, the remaining monastery buildings became a “hospital” or alms-house for 12 paupers. But at the start of the 18th century, the status of the estate was upgraded, from “gouvernorat” to “bailliage”.
This led the representatives of the rulers of Berne to build a Château on the foundations of the earlier hospital.
Bonmont moved out of the hands of the state, becoming private property, and was bought 180 years later by the Club’s founder.
The church and the Domaine de Bonmont became private property.
The church was classified as a historic monument.
The Domaine was purchased by Mr Lavanchy.
He undertook major building works, with the creation of 7 bedrooms in classical style making it possible to accommodate members and guests.
The domaine already offered training facilities, a swimming pool, an equestrian centre and a tennis club.
Creation of the golf course by Don Harradine: first a 9 hole and then an 18 hole course were constructed.
Transfer of the church to the Vaud public authorities by Château de Bonmont SI, start of renovation works.
Inauguration of the renovated church, now open to the public.
Renovation of the golf course by Don Harradine’s son, Peter 6080 metres long, with a par of 71.
4 January 2012
Death of Mr Lavanchy
Renovation of reception rooms and bedrooms. 11 additional bedrooms were created. The hotel opened in 2016 with 18 rooms and suites.