LA CHAPELLE ST GILDAS

FROM CAVE TO CHAPEL

In 538, the Welsh missionary Saint Gildas created the hermitage in a cave in the rocks beside the river Blavet. His disciple Bieuzy joined him and preached in the area, giving his name to the neighbouring parish. Bieuzy met his demise when he refused to interrupt his sermon to cure the rabid dog of a local lord and was attacked with an axe. A macabre statue in the chapel depicts Bieuzy with the axe embedded in his skull.

During the 16th century, Roche-sur-Blavet priory was built on the site. The original chevet window and arch which separates the choir from the body of the chapel is still visible in the current chapel, which was extended in 1837.

In the chapel is a granite stone, which ‘rings’ when tapped with a piece of quartz and was once used as the bell at St Gildas. There is a similar smaller stone dating from the 18 century in the Parish church in Bieuzy.

In front of the chapel, steps lead to a rock called ‘The pulpit of St Gildas’ from which the Saint used to preach. A spring emerges from under the rock and in times gone by the water from this spring was thought to bestow fertility.

VISITING THE CHAPEL

The chapel is open to visitors from July to September.

THE PARDON

The chapel has one service a year on the Monday of Pentecost or Whit Monday preceded by a procession and followed by a celebration with food and dancing.