The Ancient Quarry and Chapel of Locuon, Brittany

The village of Locuon is, like many in Brittany, a pretty sleepy place. At first glance it might even seems rather ordinary, although its 16th-century church dedicated to Saint-Yon is pretty enough. But lurking behind the church, down a steep, tree-lined path, at the foot of a long flight of stone stairs, sits something much more magical.

The path down into the ancient quarry of Locuon

The path down into the ancient quarry of Locuon

The huge dip which can be found behind the church of Saint-Yon is not a natural valley, but in fact the rare remains of a Gallo-Roman quarry. Carved out over centuries, this quarry supplied stone for the nearby town of Carhaix. After the departure of the Romans the quarry became a place of holy pilgrimage, and a chapel was constructed in the 16th Century. Now it is a wonderfully atmospheric spot, peaceful and far removed from the outside world.

The chapel of Notre-Dame de la Fosse in the ancient quarry of Locuon

The chapel of Notre-Dame de la Fosse in the ancient quarry of Locuon

The quarry is a great place to explore, with lots of strange and intriguing gems hidden in its ferny nooks and crannies. At the foot of the steep flight of steps which lead into it, for example, you will see an ancient goddess sculpture, the outlines of her hands wrapped round her headless torso just visible below a thick coat of lichen.

The goddess sculpture at the foot of the stairs into the ancient quarry in Locuon

The goddess sculpture at the foot of the stairs into the ancient quarry in Locuon

Further down in the depths of the quarry lies a holy well, which trickles out of a carved niche in the cliff face, along a gully and into a murky pool.

The holy well deep in the ancient quarry of Locuon

The holy well deep in the ancient quarry of Locuon

Not far from the pool are some remnants of the ancient quarry in the form of a group of sculpted stones, carved from the rock face but later abandoned here. They are now almost hidden in under a layer of moist green moss.

Ancient carved stones in the quarry of Locuon

Ancient carved stones in the quarry of Locuon

The chapel itself, known as Notre-Dame de la Fosse, is tiny, and fits snuggly into a recess in the quarry side. Its interior is simple, shadowy and silent, but the exterior is more showy, and decorated with elaborate carved reliefs.

The chapel of Notre-Dame de la Fosse, Locuon

The chapel of Notre-Dame de la Fosse, Locuon

The most impressive carving on its exterior shows Saint Roch, famous for his miraculous ability to cure the plague. The fact that he is shown here may relate to the healing properties attributed to the holy well nearby.

The carving of Saint Roch on the exterior of the chapel of Notre-Dame de la Fosse, Locuon

The carving of Saint Roch on the exterior of the chapel of Notre-Dame de la Fosse, Locuon

The ancient quarry of Locuon is a special, unique place. This being Brittany, it is also an undiscovered gem, far from the tourist trail and largely ignored by visitors – I only discovered it thanks to some helpful advice for a local. Wandering around this shady quarry, it’s easy to forget about the modern world which lies not far away, and really lose yourself in the magic.

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18 Responses to “The Ancient Quarry and Chapel of Locuon, Brittany”

  1. How lovely, a magical place, thank you for sharing 🙂

  2. My pleasure, glad you enjoyed it. This one really is a gem.

  3. Nice structure to your presentation, too!

  4. Beautiful evocative photos ~ what a truly magical place~ even just seeing the photos gives you a tangible idea of what it must feel like actually being. Green upon green and ancient stone~ beautiful

    • Thanks for your comment. I agree, the colours here were so vivid, it was quite stunning. One corner of the quarry was just a mass of bright green moss, thick enough to lose yourself in. I’ll definitely be back!

  5. What an amazing place – I can sense the tranquillity and magic from your photos and words.

  6. Oh, what a beautiful, mystical place! I simply love your photos, which convey the real sense of magic. What a discovery! Thank you for sharing this.

  7. it really does have the look of a secret garden – how marvellous. Your Brittany visits are wonderful.

    • Yes, at the risk of sounding corny this place did remind me of some sort of fairy glen! Brittany is certainly a great place for finding magic – in fact, I am already planning my next trip over there.

  8. Mr Chris Lee Says:

    Like past comments – Thanks for this wonderful, simple appreciation. I would only add that it is even more of a gem to be standing there and allowing all of your senses to experience it.

    A great venue to host an art installation.

  9. Meslé Gilles Says:

    I just discovered this site this week. I wanted to have information about it and I came across your blog. I am pleased that he has given you the same effect as me. I just take an emotional slap. A magnificent site, melancholic and mysterious. Congratulations knew recreate those emotions with your photos.
    A Breton admirer.

  10. david mackenzie Says:

    we too fell in love with the place , so much in fact we have just purchased the cottage next to the church , and when I have cleared the garden will be able to see the chapel from it

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