A monastery had existed on the site from the tenth century; in the following century it was ceded to the bishop of Paris who annexed the fief of Champeaux, formerly an enclave in the diocese of Sens, and established a chapter of canons. The chapter was a large one, numbering (1352) 28 canons and prebends were generous. The dean of Champeaux was appointed by the bishop of Paris; two prebends were in the hands of the Parisian monastery of S-Victor.
Begun ca. 1160
A basilica with a chevet plat and shallow projecting transept arms.
A three-story elevation in the nave, with an oculus (subsequently blocked) as the middle triforium level and a small clerestory. The choir has a three-story elevation with box-like openings at the triforium. Sexpartite rib vaults are found all the way through the main vessel. In the nave an alternating system of skinny double columns and thicker columns reflect the vaulting; no alternation in the chevet. Groin vaults in the side aisles.
Estimates for the start of construction on the nave have ranged from the 1160s to the 1190s with the earlier dating more probable. The oldest part of the church is in the transept; the nave was finished towards 1200; the choir constructed some decades later c ; it was still not complete in 1263 when indulgences were issued
Saint-Martin is memorable principally in its relationship to Notre-Dame of Paris b-1164. The circular triforium openings (derived from Paris) establish a relation with a group of churches in the area around Paris including Arceuil and Bagneux. The flying buttresses w-41 of the nave of Champeaux with characteristic flat top and denticulation, also derived from Notre-Dame, can be matched at Domont b-1120, in the Île-de-France pl-1290. Saint-Martin's unmolded "paper thin" wall (Bony) may be linked with S-Pierre of Montmartre, Notre-Dame of Etampes b-1123 walls and the cathedral of Noyon b-1037.
Beaugendre. C., "S-Martin de Champeaux et l'architecture gothique au nord de la France," PhD, Paris-IV Sorbonne, Paris, 2001.
Bony, Jean, French Gothic Architecture of the 12th and 13th Centuries, University of California Press, Berkeley, 1983, 149-15
Chartrier de la collégiale de S-Martin de Champeaux: Jean Dufour, avec la collaboration de ses élèves et auditeurs, Geneva, Droz, 2009.
Fournol, Carole, "L'histoire de Job dans les stalles de la collégiale de Champeaux", The Profane Arts of the Middle Ages. vol. 9 (1-2):89-98., 1999
L'heure, Michel, Le rayonnement de Notre-Dame de Paris dans ses paroisses 1170-1300, Paris, 2010, 157-167