Village de l’An Mil

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This is in a rural setting near Melrand, with hilly scenery and woodland. Fortunately it is well signed.

Village de l’An Mil is a reconstruction of the medieval village of Lann Gouh was deserted after the black death and the foundations of the original houses can still be seen.

The ticket office has a small shop and a video about the site. We given a laminated guide to the site in English to be returned at the end of the visit. There were a few information panels as we went round.

There a well made track through the woods with exhibits of the different types of fencing that might have been used around the original village. We picked up a friendly cat who followed us past the experimental area used for school visits.

Beyond are fields growing medicinal plants and crops. By now it was beginning to rain steadily and puss left us.

The ruins of Lann Gouh village are set among the trees in an area of heathland with heather. The house foundations are still visible. From here it is a short walk to the reconstructed area which has five buildings, surrounded by a few fields with goats and sheep.

There is a large barn with silo above. Near it is a thatch covered bread oven with bread store.

One building is in the process of construction with stone base and wooden rafters which are partially covered with thatch.

There are two reconstructed houses. One had a single doorway. The doorway on the opposite wall was blocked off and would only have been opened up to remove a body for burial. The living area was on one side with a barn for hay storage on the other.

The second house is larger with a through hallway with two doors. There is a walled off section for the animals which had wooden sides to stop the animals eating the thatch. The family lived in the other half. The bed was on the floor with a wooden surround – box beds hadn’t been invented yet.

There was a central hearth in the middle of the floor but no chimney. Herbs were hanging from the rafters. There is a hand operated quern and a basket bee skep. Outside was an animal shelter.

The goat had broken its chain and appeared in the house and was busy eating the hay in one corner and trying to reach the drying garlic hanging from the roof.

Make sure you choose a dry day to visit. There is little cover around the site.


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