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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 23 of 26: Monts d’Arrée and Maison Cornec

photo by MAW

Maison Cornec

Monts d’Arrée is an ancient mountain range in the centre of Brittany. The use of the word ‘mountain’ is a bit misleading as the highest point is only 384m. They are made of granite and are a sparsely populated area of heather and gorse moorland.

The main road from Commana runs along the crest of the Monts d’Arrée with good views north. There is a small car park for Roc'h Trevezel, one of the highest peaks in the area. There is good walking here. We walked up to the first lot of granite tors. There were good views across the gorse and heather moorland with a series of rocky outcrops. To the south we could see the Réservoir de St-Michel, the flat boggy land of Yuen Elez and Montagne St-Michel with its chapel. Seen from this height the land to the north appears ‘flat’ although it is gentle rolling countryside with fields and woodland.

Montagne St-Michel is a landmark for miles around. There is a large car park and steep path up to the church. Several footpaths run off from here and it is a popular spot for walkers. On a clear day it has splendid views. Unfortunately it was too hazy for good views.

We were heading for St-Rivoal, a small settlement with a square surrounded by houses and a small church at a major crossroads, and Maison Cornec as it shut for the season the following day.

Maison Cornec is reached by a short walk along a sunken lane between the trees. The house is away from the village and surrounded by orchards, trees and sunken lanes. It is a delightful spot.

Yvon Cornec and Anna Roustal came here in 1702. The house has been restored and is a typical example of an 18thC farm with outbuildings. The house is built of stone and has a tiled roof and beaten earth floor. A covered external staircase leads to the upper floor which has a small fireplace and was used for storage and also sleeping. This is now an exhibition area.

There is a central passageway with doors at each end. Animals lived in one end, the family in the other. There is a large fireplace and the fire was lit directly on the floor. There are two carved box beds with big storage chests by them. There is a slate bench running along the side of the wall for sitting and a large wooden table.

Outside the house is a horse gin and two bread ovens. The stone barns house exhibitions on the restoration of the house and the surrounding area.

Brasparts is one of the main settlements in the area and has a well stocked Spar shop. We parked in the square to go in the church. This was our first experience of a Parish Close, although it is not a very wealthy or important one. Few tourists visit here. There is a small calvary and ossuary. The church has two splendid altars with carvings of saints on the pillars including St Herbot with his cow. There are nice black and white windows. At the back is the remains of the old clock mechanism and an old coffin with an embroidered cover on what looked like a bier without wheels.

Moulin de Kerouat, Commana and St Herbot are covered in Trip Report 1982.

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