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Report 1980: Megaliths, Parish Closes and Cider - Part 1 Southern Finistère

By Eleanor from UK, Fall 2011

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Page 18 of 26: St Jerome’s Church and Chapelle St-Gildas, Cast

photo by MAW

St Gildas fountain near Cast

Cast is a long straggling settlement, a few miles south west of Châteaulin on the main road to Locronan. There are a few streets off the main road with old stone houses. Apart from the Hunt of St Hubert there is little to encourage the tourists to stop.

We had driven through it on our first day on the way to Guengat and decided it would repay time spent walking round and looking at the church. It did.

The Parish Church of St Jerome is on the main street. It is typical of many churches found around Brittany built between 16-18thC. It is a low stone building with three aisles and open belfry tower. The inside is fairly plain; this was not one of the wealthy linen churches. The calvary is small and dwarfed by the glorious 16thC monument of the Hunting of St. Hubert next to it.

According to legend, Lord Hubert was a keen huntsman and committed the sin of going hunting with his dogs on Good Friday. He found a deer to chase when he had a vision and heard the voice of God thundering down on him. He promptly repented and was converted.

The carving shows a stag with a crucifix between his antlers. There is a carving of Hubert climbing off his horse and beside it a carving of Hubert on his knees in front of the stag with his helmet at his side. The dog looks to be praying too. Even though St Hubert was an 8thC saint he is wearing 16thC dress.

Chapelle St-Gildas is down a side road from Cast. It is a lovely setting among the trees just off the road. It is a long low stone building with slate roof built in the shape of a cross with a small bell tower. It is a small, plain granite building but was very firmly shut. We went to find the fountain, dropping down the path beyond the chapel and following a signpost pointing to the right. There was a large stone alcove with a statue, small plunge pool and larger pool. It is one of my hidden gems.

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