In 933, the dukes of Normandy ceded the Cotentin Peninsula to the Viking Rollo and his descendants. The Mont Saint Michel Abbey, located on the peninsula, was subsequently controlled by Benedictine monks from Fontenelle.
The work of restoration commenced in 1873 under the direction of the commission of historical buildings, necessitated, in 1875, excavations under the flagstones of the large platform of the west, which revealed the foundations of the first three arcades. The plan shows these discoveries; it indicates also: the constructions made in front of the Romanesque portal by Robert de Torigni, this abbot’s grave, and his successor Don Martin’s.
When one leaves the nave by a small gate on the north side of the church, and descends several steps, he/she can view what remains of the primitive abbey buildings which extended to the north side of the church at end of the 13th century.
The new inhabitants of Mont Saint-Michel kept the buildings from going to ruin but they do not seem to have taken any great care to keep them intact. In 1627, they built a windmill on the bastion Gabriel and made many interior changes. Many marks of their dissensions are unfortunately visible and but few of their works are to be found now.
The Merveille was begun in 1203 by Jourdain XVII abbot, 1191 to 1212; he built the room of the Almonry, the Cellar, and began the Refectory above the Almonry which Raoul des Isles finished from 1212 to 1218.
After many vicissitudes, the church started in 1020, was finished in 1135 by Bernard, a professed monk of the abbey of the Bee and a prior of Gremont, who ordered a beautiful, high and strong tower to be built on the four large pillars of the chancel.