Lieu-dit ‘Le Cerceuil’ – A Town called ‘Coffin’

Posted by on Oct 31, 2017 in Word from Gazon | Comments Off on Lieu-dit ‘Le Cerceuil’ – A Town called ‘Coffin’

Not the most attractive place name, Le Cerceuil ( Coffin), a village on the edge of the majestic Ecouvres forest was perhaps named after the prehistoric single-chamber tomb or dolmen ‘La Pierre Tournoire’,  located nearby.Western France has very many of these giant stones which date back 4000-1000 years and are presumed to have fulfilled some ceremonial or burial function for the earliest Europeans who left no written language.


You can see two of these ‘mégalithes’ on a waymarked walk around this northern edge of the Parc naturel régional Normandie Maine, leaving the village of Coffin (perhaps best described as ‘peu engageant‘) behind and immersing yourself in the beautiful forest and peaceful farmland for miles on end.


France has on 10 National Parks ( all in the south or in overseas territories- marked in red on the map below ) but many more ‘Natural Regional Parks’ ( marked in green) which are in areas of outstanding beauty and cultural interest. The Normandie-Maine park, not far from the Haras du Gazon, extends to more than 257000 hectares and spreads over four departments: the Orne, Manche, Mayenne & Sarthe.

The development of these ‘Natural’ parks is not as tightly controlled as a  ‘National’ park and the area includes farms and villages as well as managed pine forests and sizeable areas of natural broad-leafed trees.

Tourism is encouraged (Read more here:   and for a super video on Youtube

Some pictures from our ‘Halloween ‘walk in late October show the quiet beauty of this hidden corner of the France.








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