The Ploërmel Pair - DIY Mini-tour
If you find yourself in northern Morbihan close to the little town of Ploërmel, here's a pair of sites you might like to explore for yourself.
The first is a rather bizarre tomb of the allée couverte type which can be found at the following coordinates, 47.9142N 2.4235W, a short distance south of Ploërmel, in the village of Bezon. Constructed around 5,000 to 6,000 years ago during the Neolithic period, it measures over ten metres in length and seems to be a relatively classic allée couverte until you take a closer look.
This intriguing little site has not one, but two terminal chambers, which raises an interesting question. Was this originally a short tomb that was then extended, or does that fact that the middle section appears to be missing mean that there are actually two monuments, built very close together along the same, roughly north/south axis? This axis is, in itself, fairly unusual for monuments of this type.
The second site can be found a short distance away at 47.91776N 2.43112W. The allée couverte de la Ville Bouquet lies in woodland on a hillside, overlooking a bend in the river Ninian. Be aware that the walk up from the car park can be a little challenging for anybody with mobility difficulties and is certainly not suitable for wheelchairs. You should also be aware that this rocky ridge is very popular with the local mountain bikers, who are particularly fond of the steeper slopes at the western end of the woodland.
The tomb itself can be a little tricky to find so a handheld GPS might be helpful. Once you do find it you will discover a much more conventional allée couverte, built on the same axis as the one (or two) in Bezon. Make sure you take some time to enjoy the views from the rocky outcrops at the top of the ridge. This is a lovely place and must have been special to the community that built this tomb. Allow about 45 minutes to an hour to enjoy the walk and views here, and give yourself 15 to 20 minutes at Bezon to fully take in the puzzle it presents.
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