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photo by Michel Polard

Detail of "kennel-hole" in the southern dolmen of the aligned megaliths at Wéris in Belgium (3 km ESE of Dubuy in the eastern Belgian province of Luxembourg).

Click here to see

large pictures of two of the most impressive tombs in the South of France

 

 

 


 

 


version française


EAST OF
BRITTANY
:


final part


photographs by
Anthony Weir

 


Many French prehistoric tombs are impressive.
But few are beautiful in the charming way that Irish portal-tombs
and many wedge-tombs are beautiful.
Many of the thousands on the causses are just stone boxes
whose charm comes entirely from their woodland setting:
many lack such a charming setting.

It is my opinion that the most charming tombs in France tend to be in the Limousin and adjacent areas.


more

Crocq (Creuse)

 

click to enlarge enlarge

Le Puyol (Haute-Vienne)


Dolmen de Passe-Bonneau, St-Benoit-du-Sault, Indre.

 

 


click for high-resolution pictures of this and other nearby megaliths

Ponsat (Creuse)

 

click for more
click for high-resolution pictures

Saint-Cyr (Haute-Vienne)

 

photo de Bruno Marc

La Peyre Cuberte, Naillat (Creuse)

 

La Pierre Folle, Saint-Priest-la-Feuille (Creuse)

 

Dolmen du Cluseau, Saint-Yreix-les-Bois (Creuse)

 

This tomb has been relocated close to the centre of the county town of Guéret.

 


click for more pictures

Dolmen de Blanc, Nojals-et-Clotte (Dordogne)


One of these has a fine array of chocking-stones to keep the roof-stone steady and at the right angle.

Click to enlarge
click for more

Saint-Vivien (Dordogne)


But the settings of some tombs, however damaged and ruined, make them truly poetic.



more

Dolmen de Curton, Jugazan (Gironde)

 

large photos ->
click for large photos

Dolmen de Nougayrol, Trévien (Tarn)

 

Click to enlarge
click on the picture to enlarge and to see another impressive tomb nearby

Neuville-en-Poitou (Vienne): remains of a long gallery tomb,
some of whose broken roof-stone can be seen to the left.

 

Click to enlarge.
click on the picture to enlarge

Les Pierres Pouquelées: a ruined gallery-tomb on a cliff-top at Vauville
on the Cotentin Peninsula near Beaumont-Hague (Manche).


On the other side of Cherbourg, not far from the port at Bretteville,
by the side of a little road (D.320) which climbs up from the shore to Le Theil,
is another allée-couverte in a very good state of preservation -



click for high-resolution pictures

 

-as is the similar


more

Table au diable, or Pierre des Sacrifices, Passais (Orne).

 

click to enlarge click to enlarge

La Pierre Folle, Montguyon (Charente-Maritime)


enlarge

Dolmen de la Pierre Couverte, Baugé (Maine-et-Loire)

enlarge


There are several tombs and at least one menhir close to Gennes.



click for more photos

Dolmen de la Bajoulière, Saint-Rémy-la-Varenne (Maine-et-Loire) at dusk.

 

click for more photos
click to enlarge

Ligré (Maine-et-Loire)

 

more

Dolmen de la Chevresse (Nièvre)

 

Dolmen de la Frébouchère, one of three tombs near
Le Bernard (Vendée)

 

Saint-Fort-sur-le-Né (Charente)

 

Cognac (Charente)

 

click for another photo

Les Pérottes, a pair of dolmens at Fontenille (Charente)

 

click to enlarge

Remains of a massive Allée-couverte in the park at Brantôme (Dordogne)

 

grandes photos enlarge

Dolmen du Gouty, Valderiès (Tarn)

 

enlarge

Tomb with pierced 'port-hole' door-slab, La Pierre Trouée,
Trie-Château, near Gisors (Oise)

 

Tomb with remains of 'port-hole', Dampsmesnil (Eure)

 

Tomb with port-hole/kennel-hole entrance from Dampont (Val d'Oise)
now outside the Musée Tavet in Pontoise.


enlarge

La Pierre Turquaise, forest of Presles (Val d'Oise)


La Pierre Courcoulée, a small dolmen simple composed of pudding-stone
at Les Ventes (Eure) - where there are no fewer than three other dolmens !


Click to enlarge this photo by "Captain Martyn" enlarge

Another pudding-stone dolmen known as La Pierre Couplée at Verneusses (Eure)
with a capstone some 4 by 3.5 metres sitting on top of six orthostats.
It was messed about with in the early 1800s.


La Pierre Gargantua, Neaufles-Auvergny (Eure)
taken through a 400mm lens.



Another of many menhirs called Pierre Gargantua, at Crasmesnil (Orne)
3.3 metres high, with many cup-marks -
those on the S face thought to represent the constellation of Ursa Major
(The Plough, The Great Bear).
(Picture and information by courtesy of Claude Corbin.)


A Pierre de Gargantua at Péronne in the S of the département of the Somme.

 

click to see menhir and dolmen

As might be expected, an exceptionally sculptural menhir at Pionnat (Creuse),
close by the
Dolmen de Ménardeix.

 

An even more impressive megalith-menhir can be seen in southern Auvergne
in the south of the départment of the Cantal:
le Roc Roti, crudely Christianised like many in the second half of the 19th century.

 

La Cham des Bondons

Le Menhir des Trois Paroisses, one of dozens to be seen at La Cham des Bondons (Lozère)

 

FINALLY -

in the southern Dordogne, a megalith remarkable not for having been erected,
but for having been a stone on which axes were ground and polished.


click for a description


_______________________________


All the preceding megaliths were found using maps, printed information or local informants.
In 2007, however, on my way to study the Romanesque apse of the church at Lunac (Aveyron)
I came across this fine stone-row by the roadside: not marked on the 1:25,000 IGN map,
and no reference to it anywhere on the Web, not even on the page of the nearest village.
Given the quality of the alignement, and the rarity of alignments generally in France,
this is utterly amazing. So I shall conclude this brief introduction to the megaliths of France
with a mention of a fine monument seemingly not previously mentioned in the public domain.

click the picture for high-resolution photos
click for more

Lunac (Aveyron)


_______________________________

 

The photographer enjoying coffee in the Limousin.

 

click the button for a
slide-show

SLIDE-SHOW

of French megaliths

 

 




Click the photo
to visit two of the most imposing tombs in Languedoc-Roussillon.

 

return to part one



Click here to see a group of monuments around Arras
in the Pas-de-Calais



go back to part four

 

Archæologists are just the latest of the looters...

...are they the last ?

 

 

These pages are just an introduction to the megaliths of France.
Should you wish to discover more, visit

More Megaliths of France

a very well-designed, ongoing website
(with satellite maps and GPS co-ordinates)
moving ever-outwards from the Paris Basin, which
will allow you to find just about all the megaliths in your chosen area.

 

Dolmen de la Cour du Breuil (Vendée)
photo C.A.I.R.N.

 


For a neat, well-illustrated itinerary-
Guide to megaliths in the South
of France, see

'Dolmens et menhirs
en Languedoc et Roussillon
'
by Bruno Marc
Les Presses du Languedoc
(Patrimoine Archéologique)
ISBN 285998190X - price 16,77 euros
available from amazon.fr

and...


from the same publisher, around the same price:

plus

Dolmens et menhirs des Cévennes (2003)

 

 


 

I am indebted to Bob Trubshaw,
http://www.indigogroup.co.uk

for his generous moral and material help
in the creation of this web-page.

 

 

Enhanced and expanded versions of these pages are included on the
Order the CD ROM
developed from this website.

 

 

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