The Church of St Guimiliau, built in the 16C and 17C, is one of the major Parish Enclosures in Brittany and a ‘must-see’ if you visit Brittany. The Church is situated at the top end of the village of Guimiliau and we visited last year as well. Nowadays the site has been restored and tidied for hordes of visitors, but it didn’t always look like this; not all that long ago the roads were mud and the churchyard was filled with tombs. (Interesting photographs here.)
The Triumphal Arch is quite simple, a single arch surmounted with statues of the Virgin Mary and two horsemen.
Inside the walls the group of buildings is stunning, with the enormous octagonal Calvary dominating the churchyard. The dates of 1581 and 1588 are carved into the structure. There is a small staircase inside the Calvary so that it could be used as an outdoor pulpit, much like the balcony on the Ossuary/Chapel. The figures on the frieze are in relief, while those on the platform above are statues. Together they represent scenes from the life of Christ.
The Ossuary of 1648 has been converted to a Chapel with an outside pulpit and carvings to remind us of the shortness of life.
The original Ossuary is still attached to the side of the South Porch, and has a extraordinary frieze of figures around its base.
The Sacristy dates from 1683.
And lastly, the Bell Tower topped with a rooster!