Recently we wrote about the stained glass at St Georges-sur-Loire. The current building dates to the Romanesque period [11th century] with early Mediaeval [12th/13th century] extensions. However, the very oldest part of the chapel was originally predominantly troglodyte and was hewn out of the soft stone cliff during the Merovingian period [5th to 8th centuries].
Merovingian knotwork, south wall
A rare survivor from this much earlier building is a stone which is now set into the south wall. Still pretty crisp even today, the carving is very reminiscent of Celtic knotwork such as can be see in the Lindisfarne Gospels from the late 7th century.
Earlier Roman designs such as can be found in mosaic floors also show a similar pattern, although perhaps a little less free flowing and intricate. An example is The Great Pavement in Woodchester Gloucestershire, once the floor of a main hall of a Roman villa, it was laid around AD 325.
Presumably a mediaeval stonemason working several centuries after the stone was first carved felt it was beautiful enough to be worth saving and re-used it in the wall he was building. We are very glad he did so! You can see the stone on your right as you enter the chapel.