|One of the more curious megalithic sites I've visited but well worth a detour to see if (as I happened to be last week) you're in the Loire Valley, specifically in the vicinity of Saumur. It's very easy to find, no tramping around the countryside with an OS map,all you need is a good road map of the area. It's in the suburb of Bagneux, a left turn just off the D960, the main road going south out of town towards Montreuil-Bellay, well signposted. Truth to tell, the bar/restaurant in the garden of which it's situated struck me as a bit rundown with only one old local perched on a stool as I walked in. I had expected to pay an entrance fee to see the monument but as there was no-one behind the bar I stepped through the plastic curtain leading to the garden and there it was, a big rectangular structure sitting in the shade of the surrounding trees. It's had some restoration work with concrete blocks added to support the entrance but they're hidden behind one of the 'porch' slabs and don't detract from its aura. There's no need to stoop as you go in and I could stand to my full height. The car parked by the side would have spoiled my photos but it was moved by the proprietaire after she had demanded 4 Euros from me and I had bought a drink which seemed the proper thing to do, the Kronenbourg slipping down very pleasantly as I took my pictures. It's genuinely impressive in its incongruously eccentric location, the big capstones resting evenly on the walls. There's some homemade information boards and a book of old prints/postcards showing how it once stood in open countryside which makes its survival in such good condition in its present setting all the more remarkable. Well worth 15/20 minutes of your time if you're in the area and fancy an alternative to a chateau.
Posted by ironstone
1st June 2014ce