Cartulaire, I, item 264 , 311.
Letter concerning the quarries of the canons at Picquigny.
To all those who see the present letters, we, the chapter of Saint Martin of Picquigny announce that we have sold to the procurators of the fabric of the church of Amiens for the work of the said fabric from the last feast of Saint Remi for eleven full years for 50 pounds of Paris all that we have in the quarries of Beaumetz and in the same all jurisdictions that we possess in all matters, both high and low. We give to the same fabric the power and licence for the boats of the same fabric to come through our land and water to carry the stones and to replace [faisellum ] by the quarries, where the place is closer to our land, as seems appropriate and for the advantage and profit of the fabric. In testimony of which thing, we have had the present letters confirmed by the seals of our chapter. Done in the year of our Lord 1234, in the month of March.
Stone was also procured from quarries located in land held by the chapter at Croissy, Fontaine-Bonneleau and Domˇliers in the valley of the shallow river of the Selle. On these quarries see Arch. Somme, G 1635, 1636 and 1851.
See L. Douchet (ed.) Manuscrits de Pag¸s, III, 8, for mention of quarries at Croissy close to the river Selle from which stone was extracted for the cathedral.
The acquisition in 1235 of the right to extract stone from the quarry of Beaumetz meant that stone now came only about twelve kilometers, and it could be brought on barges up and against the current of the river Somme. The quarry at Beaumetz was owned by the chapter of the collegiate church of Saint-Martin of Picquigny. For various concessions that this chapter made in the sixteenth century and later to allow extraction of the stone, see Arch. Somme, XVIII G, 17.
The quarry at Beaumetz, entirely subterranean, lies beneath a pre-Roman oppidum known as the Camp Cˇsar. The entrance into the quarry is now blocked, but its approximate whereabouts is still known, see R. Agache and B. Breart, Atlas d'Archˇologie aerienne de Picardie, 2 vols., Heilly, 1975, esp. I, 43, and especially F. Vasselle, "Chronique des souterrains," Bull. Soc. Ant. Pic., XLII, 1947-1948, 363-368. Older sources record visits to the interior of the quarry, see Abbˇ Daire, Histoire civile, ecclˇsiastique et littˇraire du doiennˇ de Picquigny, Amiens, 1860; L. d'Allonville, Dissertation sur les camps romains du Dˇpartement de la Somme, Clermont-Ferrand, 1828, 32; Abbˇ de Fontenu, "Camps de Cesar," Mˇmoires de litterature tirez des registres de l'Academie Royale des Inscriptions et Belles-Lettres, XV, 1741, 150, "The vault of this immense cavern is supported on a number of big pillars, set at a distance one from another, as you can see in the quarries under certain suburbs in and around Paris. In several places the pathways go through great heaps of fragments or piles of stones cut on three sides, and elsewhere masses of uncut stones, dispersed here and there without any order, form by their turns and returns a veritable labyrinth, where the thread of Ariadne would be no less necessary than in the labyrinth of Crete." Thus, the same metaphor of the labyrinth is used to characterize both the vast, dark inchoate space of the quarry and the ordered, well-lit space of the vaulted nave of the cathedral.