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Pigeonniers of France: Brittany
Day 12: Quimper to Vannes

Poulgwin dovecote, click for a larger image in new window.

Poulgwin Dovecote
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Dovecote of Poulgwin near Nevez

Enroute to our last Gite we visited the dovecote of Poulgwin in Nevez just south of the most interesting old walled port town of Concarneau. The dovecote is in very fine shape, but on grounds marked private, so we were not able to peek inside, but the walk to the dovecote takes you right to the base of it, as it sits nearly on the beach. The walk itself is worth the trip. The dovecote is of fairly standard construction for dovecotes in Brittany, being round and made of rather large stones sitting on a base of stones that is slightly larger in diameter than the wall. Viewing the larger image by clicking on the picture on the left will make this more obvious. . The stones of the roof are laid in a “stair step” manner, building the cone.  If there ever was a cupola, it is currently not present.  The dovecote is about 24 feet in diameter and about 20 feet tall to the beginning of the roof.  The roof overhangs the wall by 8-12 inches.  This overhang would have helped to divert rain water, as well as being a possible consideration to keep predators from entering the cote.

To find this dovecote, from the church in Nevez, take the D77 toward Port Madec.  At  2.9 km from the church there is a signpost on the left for Poulgwin.  Take this left, and in another .3 km, there is another signpost on the left for Anse Pougwin.  Take this left turn and drive to a parking area next to a meadow with a view of the water.  The road continuing on from here is marked private.  Take a rather pleasant walk toward the water through the meadow on the well-used and marked footpath. The path goes down to the water, along to the right up to the manor wall, along the wall and around the manor and through the woods past some large stones and then back to the beach.  The entire walk is about 1km.  The dovecote is immediately to your left above the small beach. 

Trégouet dovecote, click for a larger image in new window.

Tregouet Dovecote
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Dovecote Of Trégouet In Béganne

This dovecote sits on high enough ground to displease the German occupation forces during WW-II who bombarded it in February 1945 from the opposite bank so it could not be used as an observatory.. The dovecote was spared somewhat compared to the castle, which was nearly completely destroyed. The house and dovecote were restored by its owner, the Gonzague Viscount Mintier de Léhélec. The house and grounds have belonged to the same family since 1547, and carry an interesting history during the revolution, when execution and assassination befell the owners.

To find the dovecote, take the C5 going east out of Beganne.  This is a scenic drive thorugh the old village and with views of pastures, water meadows, and the river to the south. We were there on a quiet Sunday, so everything was closed and there was no traffic, so we could dawdle along. The manor is sign posted as you approach and is on the left.  Drive along the wall, stop where it ends and you will have a clear view of the dovecote.

We were not able to locate Chateau de plessis-kaer in Crach, with a dovecote described by Dr. Jean Auffret in Colombiers et Pigeonniers en Bretagne Profonde, as noted below. We have provided a small thumbnail image from the book to help you identify it. More detail on this dovecote and larger images are in the book, which we highly recommend for any enthusiast. And of course, if you have any information on this dovecote or any others you know of in the area that you would like to share, we would love to post it.

Dovecote of Chateau de plessis-kaer in Crach.

Chateau de plessis-kaer in Crach

The dovecote reportedly lies near the edge of the river Auray, surrounded by imposing trees and bordered by a large pond. It was partially destroyed during the Revolution, when its roof was removed. It is of octagon shape, with 606 nestholes. There is supposed to be an underground path that takes one into the dovecote. In1727, it belonged to Christopher Paul of Robien, Conseiller at the Parliament of Brittany, scholar, archaeologist, who was interested particularly in the prehistoric site of Locmariaquer. It is on private property, belonging to Mr. Etienne Jacqmin.

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