It was once the western tower of the church of St Eloi, from which it is now separated by a street.
St Eloi, erected about 1560 in the Gothic style, was deprived of its first two bays in the 18th century; the present façade dates from 1889.
Dunkirk is said to have originated in a chapel founded by St Eloi in the 7th century, round which a small village speedily sprang up. In the 10th century it was fortified by Baldwin III., count of Flanders; together with that province it passed successively to Burgundy, Austria and Spain.
Dagobert protected the church and placed illustrious prelates at the head of the bishoprics - Eloi (Eligius) at Noyon, Ouen (Audoenus) at Rouen, and Didier (Desiderius) at Cahors.
Dunstan, archbishop of Canterbury (925-988), like Bernward, bishop of Hildesheim a few years later, and St Eloi of France three centuries earlier, was himself a skilful worker in all kinds of metal.
This book he published at his own cost, and dedicated to Claude Hangest, abbot of St Eloi, a member of the de Montmor family, with whom Calvin had been Calv.
Dagoberts victories over Samo, king of the Slays along the Elbe, and his subjugation of the Bretons and the Basques, maintained the prestige of the Frankish empire; while the luxury of his court, his taste for the fine arts (ministered to by his treasurer Eloi i), his numerous achievements in architectureespecially the abbey of St Denis, burial-place of the kings of Francethe brilliance and the power of the churchmen who surrounded him and his revision of the Salic law, ensured for his reign, in spite of the failure of his plans for unity, a fame celebrated in folksong and ballad.
Under the protection of the Frankish king Dagobert (622-638), the Christian missionaries Amandus (St Amand) and Eligius (St Eloi) attempted the conversion of these Flemish Frisians, and their efforts were attended with a certain measure of success; but farther north the building of a church by Dagobert at Trajectum (Utrecht) at once aroused the fierce hostility of the heathen tribesmen of the Zuider Zee.