Fontevrault, a French commune in the department of Maine-et-Loire. It is situated in the middle of a forest in a valley 10 miles S.E. of Saumur. A Benedictine abbey was founded here in 1099, and was notable as containing both monks and nuns, the Abbess being the head of the whole in honour of our Lady. The duties were divided between the sexes on the old principle that Adam should delve and Eve spin. The abbey had many dependencies, there being thirty of them in Brittany alone. The last Abbess was a niece of Madame de Montespan. Henry II. and his wife Eleanor, Richard I., and the wife of King John are English sovereigns buried here.