Let’s look at the origins of Saint Yrieix-la-Perche. In the middle of the 6th century, the Christian priest and high-ranking Merovingian dignitary Aredius, called Yrieix in French, founded a monastery on the land of his mother’s Gallo-Roman villa. It probably stood where you are now, on the Place Attane. This is where Aredius established a Benedictine community and had the first church built.
When he died in 591, his body was probably buried where the church stands now. In his will written in 572, one of the oldest medieval documents from Limousin, he placed the monastery under the authority of the Basilica of Saint Martin in Tours, whose patron he admired.
In 1046, the monastery became a royal cathedral chapter, still linked to Saint-Martin-de-Tours, which made it directly accountable to Rome and not the Diocese of Limoges. Over the following centuries, the monastery was at the heart of a long conflict between the canons and the viscounts of Limoges, whose power is symbolised by the Tour du Plô.