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Report 1981: Megaliths, Parish Closes and Cider - Part 2 Morbihan

By Eleanor from UK, Fall 2011

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Page 23 of 27: Blavet Valley - Village de l’An Mil

photo by MAW

Village de l'An Mil

This is in a rural setting near Melrand, with hilly scenery and woodland. Fortunately it is well signed.

Village De L’an Mil is a reconstruction of the medieval village of Lann Gouh which was deserted after the black death. This has been excavated and the foundations of the original houses can still be seen.

The ticket office has a small shop and a video about the site. We were given a laminated guide to the site in English to be returned at the end of the visit. There were a few information panels as we went round. From the ticket office a track leads through the woods with exhibits of the different types of fencing that might have been used around the original village. We picked up a friendly cat who followed us past the experimental area used for school visits.

Beyond are fields growing medicinal plants and crops. By now it was beginning to rain steadily and puss left us.

The ruins of Lann Gouh Village are set among the trees in an area of heathland. The house foundations are still visible. From here it is a short walk to the reconstructed area which has five buildings, surrounded by a few fields with goats and sheep.

There is a large barn with silo above. Near it is a thatch covered bread oven with bread store.

One building is in the process of construction with stone base and wooden rafters which are partially covered with thatch.

There are two reconstructed houses. One has a single doorway. The doorway on the opposite wall is blocked off and would only have been opened up to remove a body for burial. The living area is on one side with a barn for hay storage on the other.

The second house is larger with a through hallway with two doors. There is a walled off section for the animals which has wooden sides which stop the animals eating the thatch. The family lived in the other half. The bed is on the floor with a wooden surround - box beds hadn’t been invented yet.

There is a central hearth in the middle of the floor but no chimney. Herbs hang from the rafters. There is a hand operated quern and a basket bee skep. Outside is an animal shelter.

The goat had broken its chain and appeared in the house and was busy eating the hay in one corner and trying to reach the drying garlic hanging from the roof.

This does need to be done on a dry day as most of the site is outside and there is little shelter.

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