The Chapel of Loc-Ildut

On a quiet side road off the main road south from Landivisiau, in a little valley, is a small chapel dedicated to St Ildut. The date of 1633 is carved over the door on the south arm of the transcept; 1677 is carved over the door to the South Porch; and 1727 on the west façade. It is not known who built this Chapel, probably the second one on the site, the first chapel being built in the 12C by the Count of Léon. It is suggested that this site was a place of retreat for St Ildut and it certainly has a tangible, and very peaceful, sense of place.

St Ildut was a 6C monk, known under several names, who is credited as the founding father of Breton Christianity. The details of his life are not clear but the links with Wales, in one form or another, are consistent. He is particularly associated with the Abbeys of Llantwit Major and Caldey Island. Here in Loc-Ildut his statue watches us from the walls of the Chapel.

The South Porch, Loc-Ildut
The South Porch, Loc-Ildut
The South Porch, Loc-Ildut
The South Porch, Loc-Ildut

A stream runs in the little valley below the Chapel and there are two fountains close to the Chapel itself, one to the left, another to the right, joined with a stream running under the rather curious platform. The fountain on the right of the photograph below is surmounted with a cross over a carving, and perhaps there was also a statue in the small alcove at some point. The fountain on the left also has a pointed headstone and it looked as though there might have been an alcove for a statue as well.

The Chapel of Loc-Ildut

The fountain to the right of the Chapel of Loc-Ildut
The fountain to the right of the Chapel of Loc-Ildut
The fountain to the left of the Chapel of Loc-Ildut
The fountain to the left of the Chapel of Loc-Ildut

The fountain to the right of the Chapel of Loc-Ildut

The buildings opposite the chapel (the only buildings in the area) look like a staging post and over the door is a plaque on which one can just make out ‘? Route Nationale 164 – Loc Ildut – Landerneau à Angers’. This building was a Post House of 1831-45 where fresh horses were kept for riders, or carriages, to ensure swift delivery of the mail. RN 164 was a Royal Road built in the mid-18C, partly on the remains of Roman Roads, and partly newly built to link Brest with Angers – Landerneau must have been a point along the way.

The old Post House Relay opposite the Chapel of Loc-Ildut
The old Post House Relay opposite the Chapel of Loc-Ildut

The old Post House Relay opposite the Chapel of Loc-Ildut The old Post House Relay opposite the Chapel of Loc-Ildut

Hidden under ivy trees opposite the Post House is a ruined building, which seems to have been of some import judging by the fireplace. Next to it is the fountain below, perhaps a lavoir?

If you are in the area do divert to spend some quiet time in this amazing site which is recognised in an annual Pardon. 

Further information
The Pardon of Loc-Ildut

An interesting blogsite!
The Lives of the British Saints – St Ildut
The Roman Roads of Brittany – very interesting website!

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