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Report 1982: Megaliths, Parish Closes and Cider - Part 3 Northern Finistère

By Eleanor from UK, Fall 2011

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Page 14 of 32: Parish Closes - Locmélar

photo by MAW

Painted roof

Guide books ignore Locmélar. All the information I could find was that it was 16/17thC with imposing altarpieces dedicated to St Melar and St Hervé and banners of gold and silk embroidery.

Again this is a hidden gem. 


The church has a solid square tower with a tall spire with small holes. There are elegant pinnacles on the roof. There is a large sacristy with a domed roof.

The triumphal arch is reduced to two pillars and the ossuary was demolished in 1920. The calvary has Jesus with the two robbers and two horsemen. Below is the Virgin holding the crucified Christ. On the other side are three unidentified statues.

The 1664 south porch contains statues of the twelve apostles with the remains of red and gold paint still visible. 


Inside the church, the blue painted roof has stars and cherubs heads. There is a massive high altar painted in shades of pale grey, red and lots of gilt. It has scenes of the Passion. On either side are statues of St Melar and the Virgin and Child. Above is a statue of Christ in glory with a globe in his hand and God the Father above surrounded by angels. There is a highly carved wooden frieze around the choir.

There is a carved wooden altar rail and three carved altar seats with misericords on either side. 


The retable above the south altar has a painting of the Assumption with the Virgin Mary, twelve apostles and angels. Above is a carving of the Virgin and Child.

The retable above the north altar has the blind St Hervé being led by his guide Guic. Above is St Hervé accompanied by a wolf. The wolf ate Herve’s plough ox, but when Hervé talked to him the wolf repented and offered to take the ox’s place and serve St Hervé. Painted pillars with scrolls of vines decorate both. The sides of the retable adjacent to the choir are highly decorative with carved roundels or panels and more statues. 


The massive 17thC pulpit has white, red and grey carvings. The canopy is crowned with an angel blowing a trumpet and has a dove underneath supported by two figures holding an inscription. 


The font has a decorative canopy with pillars painted to resemble marble. The blue, red and gilt carved top has Archangel Michael subduing the devil. 


There are beautiful old processional banners in glass display cases on the north wall. One has a scene of the Crucifixion and another St Peter holding the keys of Heaven. 


There is a beautifully carved wooden panel dated 1575 on the north wall which has scenes of the passion of Christ and crucifixion. There are more statues on the walls and a wooden carving of the Virgin with the crucified Christ on the south wall.

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