La Feuillee & the Knights Templar in the Monts d’Arrees

We had had a long and wonderful day in Quimper and needed to follow this the next day with an easy walk so turned to Wendy Mewes for advice. We chose walk no.2 from her Walks in Finistere’If you are planning a visit to Brittany do invest in her books – they have a wealth of information to which you can return again and again.

La Feuillée is apparently the highest village in Finistère, and a very old settlement. A Foundation of the Knights Templar was established in Kerberou, just down the road, by the then Duke of Brittany in the 12C. This means it must have been a hospice, and it was placed in this area because of the Roman road from Carhaix to Plouguerneau. Eventually this became a ‘Commanderie’ of the Knights Templar, covering a large area of Brittany.

The walk which begins in La Feuillée goes along quiet, sunken green lanes and open tracks with distant views of the Monts, and ended with a visit to the Church of St John the Baptist, 15C-19C,  in the village and open during this Heritage Weekend. What I will always remember is the mossy sunken lane at the beginning of the walk.

Sunken lane outside La FeuilleeSunken lane outside La Feuillee Sunken lane outside La Feuillee

There are also open tracks, and tracks which cross streams.

A lane around La Feuillee

Track outside La Feuillee

On the edge of the village is the ‘Bois de l’Amour’ – a trysting spot, a reminder of the woods which covered this area, and the place of execution!

The Bois de l'Amour, La Feuillee

The Bois de l’Amour, La Feuillee

The main road into La Feuillee, looking towards the Monts d'Arees

The main road into La Feuillee, looking towards the Monts d’Arrees

As is often the case, the Church of St John the Baptist has been changed over the centuries, and is built on the site of an earlier church. St John the Baptist was the Patron Saint of the Knights Templar. Also in La Feuillee is the Chapel of Saint-Houardon, apparently built by the Knights Templar, but I didn’t know this at the time and so there is no photograph!

The Church of St John the Baptist in La Feuillee

The Church of St John the Baptist in La Feuillee

The Church of St John the Baptist in La Feuillee

The Church of St John the Baptist in La Feuillee

Stained glass in the Church of St John the Baptist, La Feuillee

Stained glass in the Church of St John the Baptist, La Feuillee

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The Fountain of St John the Baptist in La Feuillee

The Fountain of St John the Baptist in La Feuillee, 16C

Another lovely day in Brittany which also uncovered historical connections which could be followed up on future visits!