Le cluzeau de la Petite Clavelie ouvert pour cause d'inventaire

Mysterious cluzeaux of the Périgord

The fifth volume on the inventory of cluzeaux in the Périgord - “Cluzeaux et souterrains du Périgord”, by Serge Avrilleau, published by PLB - came out on Saturday October 15 in a remarkably fitting environment. The hamlet of La Petite Clavelie, on the estate belonging to Jean-François Ténès, boasts an underground refuge, typical of all those truly amazing architectural structures that make holes in the ground rather than scraping the sky.

La vie de château

By sounding olifants and sending smoke signals, Montignac managed to stay safe and sound in the Middle Ages 

Bernard Fournioux, archaeologist and distinguished scholar of mediaeval history, invites us to discover “Montignac in the Middle Ages” in a reference text based exclusively on the study of original documents. This work relates how the town grew gradually around the mediaeval castle, as people began to move away from the ramparts and settle on the periphery.
In 1990 the same author brought out a fascinating study of the defence network (the only one of its kind in the Périgord) which was invented in the 13th century to alert the châtellenie de Montignac to the possibility of danger in under 15 minutes, by sounding olifants* or by sending smoke signals. Our sincere thanks to him for allowing us to publish this study here in its entirety.

Château de Coulonges

Coulonges Castle: a powerful reminder of the seigniory of Montignac in the Middle Ages 

After a vast restoration programme under the aegis of Les Bâtiments de France, the Château de Coulonges, north-west of Montignac, is open to the public this summer between July 1 and August 10. The chance to discover the whole defensive arsenal of a mediaeval castle, the survival of a most ingenious strategic communications network set up by Seigneur Renaud Pons de Montignac, a faithful vassal of Alphonse de Poitiers, Count of Toulouse. During three centuries of fierce rivalry between Kings of England and Kings of France, enemy attacks were legion in the Périgord and the people had to learn how to protect themselves.


A walk down memory lane.