Eglise de PlouaretEglise de Plouaret
©Eglise de Plouaret|Yoan Brière - La lanterne
Communes of the rural heritage of Brittanyin Trégor

Communes of the Rural Heritage of Brittany

Brittany’s uniqueness stands out at every corner of a hamlet, town entrance and seems engraved on every stone or even every wall forming an integral part of its rural heritage.
In order to safeguard, develop, inform and animate this small rural heritage in Brittany, a label was created in 1987. It is attributed for a period of 5 years to the communes of Plouaret, Pouldouran or Hengoat, which commit themselves to enhance their architectural heritage. It gathers elements which are often insignificant, but which guarantee a tradition and, above all, the domestic life of the past. They are wells, bread ovens, troughs, wash houses, routers, mills or fountains. With the liking of a stroll or even a hike, to leave to survey the paths, circuits of discovery and interpretation, represents the best way to understand the interest for the preservation and development of this rural heritage of importance dear to the heart of the local population.


Land of manors

The commune embarked on this path in 2004 and obtained the label in 2005, then in 2013. In the town, the parish church has been classified as a Historic Monument since 1907. Its heterogeneous architecture testifies to its multisecular history. Between 1903 and 1905, the church was restored by Jules Morvan, an architect in Saint-Brieuc, with stones recovered from the Saint-Maudez chapel. The exact location of the discovery is not known. At first, the statue is exposed to the eyes of all, near the chapel of Saint-Mathieu. In 1887, it was transferred to the church square and then to the south porch to protect it from bad weather. It is a monolithic sculpture in granite representing the god-rider Jupiter on his horse, trampling a monster of female sex, half human, half animal, whose legs end in a snake’s tail. It can be dated to the 2nd and 3rd centuries A.D. and is therefore a remarkable element of the cultural heritage of the Gallo-Roman period in Brittany.
A few meters further down, you can follow the interpretation circuit “Au tour de Luzel” lined with interactive terminals to dive into the world of the tales and legends of Brittany collected by François Marie Luzel.



A former small seaweed port

In the 19th century, the commune of Pouldouran became prosperous thanks to the flax activity. Numerous retting basins, vestiges of the flax activity have been restored along the many hiking trails. At the same time, and with the construction of the quay wall in the second half of the 19th century, the village became a small seaweed port. Boats unloaded the seaweed in Port Béni (in Pleubian), Pouldouran and as far as La Roche-Derrien, according to the demand of the farmers. This activity contributed to the economic development of the town until the middle of the 20th century, when it ceased. The town has a very nice architectural heritage including the Saint-Bergat church and its baptistery as well as calvaries, crosses and wash houses.
After a stop at the house of the slopes, immerse yourself in the history of flax, you will understand what has contributed to the richness of the region and discover the particularities of the local fauna and flora. This little blue flower has indeed left its mark on the history of the Trégor, as evidenced by the abundant heritage along this walk.



On the road to the slopes and flax routoirs

In the 19th century, there were no fewer than 3600 routoirs in the Trégor. Installed in the bottom of the valleys, these are basins built of stone with no other binder than earth. They were used to retting flax until the 20th century, when they were abandoned in favor of retting in the field. The omnipresence of water has structured the space and human activities. The countryside still retains the imprint of a rich past of bocage with its sunken paths, its embankments and its valleys. The farmhouses and stone houses, remarkable for their size and architecture, bear witness to the wealth of Hengoat in the 19th century. The traces of past activities can be seen in the scattered habitat and the “small heritage”. Several discovery and interpretation paths are available to you, including the circuit of the slopes and flax mills, which will allow you to pass in front of the Saint-Maudez church and its calvary, mills, crosses, fountains, and wells.
The walk with the bat is also a circuit of discovery of heritage and bocage both easy and exotic to immerse yourself in the authenticity of this township.


Cultivating the essential