Saint-Laurent-l'Abbaye has had a religious establishment since at least the 6th century. In the 11th century, an abbey is reported to have welcomed pilgrims from Santiago de Compostela. Augustinians occupied the site and had numerous possessions in the area
In 1199, the area around the abbey was the scene of battles between Pierre de Courthenay, Count of Nevers, and Hervé de Donzy
The abbey was damaged during the Wars of Religion and the last occupants left shortly before the French Revolution
After the Revolution, the buildings were sold to private individuals, only the church was still in use, but in 1816, a fire destroyed part of the buildings and in 1948 the church tower collapsed
Today the Association for the Safeguarding, Protection and Improvement of the site, organizes visits during the summer and for the European Heritage Days.