We’ve been on several geocaching trips lately to interesting places. One of these was to the small village of Ladapeyre, which we pass through quite frequently as it’s on the way to Guéret, our nearest large town and nest of fonctionnaires. As with so many places in rural France, there is much more to this village than meets the eye as you drive through. You get a brief glimpse of the church and the castle, but that’s it. It was time for a proper poke around. Our geocaching trail took us past the church. The doors were open, although there was a gate across, but this meant we could have a look inside. It’s beautiful as you can see in the photo, with statues and frescoes. The church is dedicated to St Sulspice and was built in the 13th century. It’s in remarkably good condition despite its age because it’s built in granite. It’s roof is made from chestnut shingles, a rot- and insect resistant wood. The people who constructed this church were clearly planning on it being around for a long time, and I’m sure they’d be very proud to see how wonderful this church still looks today. Next we passed the Chateau de la Dauge. This has long intrigued me so I did some research when we got back from our trip. The castle was built at the end of the 14th century/beginning of the 15th, but all that remains of the original building is the entrance pavilion. This would have housed a drawbridge although that’s gone now. The towers have machicolation at the top (machicoulis in French) which is a floor opening between the supporting corbels of a battlement, through which stones, or other objects, could be dropped on marauders. At the bottom of the thick walls are openings that culverins (couleurvrines – small cannons) would have stuck out from. The rest of the castle was demolished in 1830 and a mock 17th castle built in its place. We set off on a walk that was signposted and which would eventually take us past the fontaine de bonnefond. However, we didn’t get that far. We had Tobi with us, and she’s a bit of a free spirit in that she’s not the best behaved on a lead and we were have to walk along a fairly busy road. (Busy by Creuse standards i.e. a car every five minutes or so.) Also we quickly worked out that we were going the wrong way and so we returned to the village to try the walk again. Good job we did go wrong otherwise we’d have missed this intriguing little building hidden in the hedgerow. It appears to have been something industrial judging by the machinery remnants inside it. This time we got it right and soon found the fontaine. I can’t find anything out about this online so I can’t give you any info on its background. Spring It was dangerously near dinnertime by now so we headed back to the car, coming across this cross on the way, and two curious dogs who trailed us as far as the main road but sensibly turned back there. So, another mini voyage of discovery, and another geocache find to add to our tally.
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