The Pigeon Cote
Pigeonniers of France: Brittany
Day 14: Area between Vannes and Rennes
The manor is an excellent example of a house with nest holes incorporated into the schist stone wall of the dwelling, and is what merits it a stop on our quick tour list. The home is very old, dating to 1634, being constructed by the Lariviere family of Ploeuc, but it changed hands quickly when the Chesnaye family acquied it in 1644. There are 45 nest holes in total, arranged in three rows just below the roof. They are in line, rather than in the checkboard pattern one generally finds in dovecotes. The landing ledge appears to be a later addition, since it does not extend below all the nest holes. Perhaps it was more for the convenience of the people living there than for the birds' convenience. As you can see, the nestholes are directly above the entry way to the house, so the landing ledge would at least have deflected the bird droppings to fall a foot or so away from the door, rather than down the side of the home. Steel pins hold up the ledge, which appears to be wood. When it was necessary to gain entry to the nests, an external ladder is required.
The manor actually lies east on the D147 out of St. Laurent-sur-Ost. The village provides a nice walking tour and map of the area. Ballangeard manor is stop a on the village's sign,
Dovecote Le Brossais
This dovecote was another serendipitous find for us, as we just happened to notice it driving along the road. It is not listed in Colombiers et Pigeonniers en Bretagne Profonde, our bible for this road trip. The dovecote lies just south of St. Grave, as shown on the enlarged map, and obviously can be seen from the road. The property is marked private, so we were not able to investigate further. The dovecote is of rather large size and is made of rubble rather than cut stones. The roof is still at least partially extant, as the lush growth shows, but those plants will be its undoing if not properly removed. The roof appears to have been flatter than what is generally found, but then again it may be that it has started to collapse in on itself.
Rennes and the area to the southwest of Rennes.