The Journal Of Antiquities

Ancient Sites In Great Britain & Southern Ireland

Dolmen De La Frebouchere, Le Bernard, Pays De Loire, Vendee, France

Dolmen de la Frébouchère

Dolmen de la Frébouchère (Photo credit: Wladyslaw Disk – Wikipedia).

Latitude 46.448429. Longitude 1.469464. About one mile north of the village of Le Bernard, Pays de la Loire, Vendee, in western france, stands the megalithic monument called Dolmen de la Frebouchere also known as ‘Dolmen De La Bernard’ and ‘Pierre Couverte a la Frebouchere’. It stands beside a wooded area to the east of the D91B highway at the northern end of the Rue de la Frebouchere road. A lane leads up to this huge prehistoric burial chamber where there is a carpark and picnic area. It probably dates back to the late Neolithic and early Bronze-Age periods – between 3,000-2,000 BC. The nearest large town is Les Sables-d’Olonne 12 miles to the west and, Avrille another smaller town is 3 miles to the north-east.

The huge granite monument is said to be the largest prehistoric burial chamber in Vendee – it certainly is an impressive structure at a height of 2 metres (6 feet 6 inches) and approx 7 metres (23 feet) long and 3.5 metres (11 feet 5 inches) wide. It is in a resonably intact state with a mighty capstone that is, sadly, broken in the middle. This is said to weigh between 80-100 tonnes! Three massive up-rights help to support the capstone at the eastern side, while one long stone supports it at the opposite side (western end). Also at the eastern-most end two blocking stones approx 1 metre (3 feet 3 inches) high – though these do not completely close or block the entrance; also two more entrance stones support the other end of the capstone. Just inside the chamber a nicely shaped, tapering standing stone almost touches the roof but has been cut away at the very top.

Originally the whole chamber was covered over by a mound of earth with only the two outer blocking stones on view. Over the centuries the structure had fallen into a bad state after being used as a sheep enclosure, but in 1887 it was restored. You will notice that the ground around the monument is often covered by pink gravel in order to decorate and add to the beauty of the ancient site. All in all, a very nice site. There are a number of ancient monuments in this area, including two standing stones (menhirs) to the north and, just to the east is Dolmen de la Savatole.



Author: sunbright57

I am interested in holy wells, standing stones and ancient crosses; also anything old, prehistoric, or unusual.

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