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.
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.
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.