Tuesday, 27 November 2012

A Visit to Cellefrouin, Part 1

Seeming at first glance to be” just another” lovely French historic and rural village, Cellefrouin, set in the steep sided Font river valley, seems to have more than its fair share of interesting features, some of which I will show you in this pictorial ramble and some in part 2, as there is too much for one post!
This is the local  map for walkers, a common feature of Charente villages and erected for the benefit of the many French and foreign visitors who enjoy rambling through the totally unspoilt scenery!

Using this information, we took this small untarred back road, parallel to the river, to see if we could find the watermill reputed to exist in a nearby hamlet. No luck with that, but then another delight appeared around a corner!

This charming but neglected little building next to the river is, I believe, the last remnant of the railway halt which served the village. That must have been a long time ago, as there is no indication of where the track used to run, save for the nearby river bridge (below), across which the railway must have passed.


The river Font, flowing westwards.

The village's old weighbridge. As you will have seen from earlier blogs, the  authorities like to preserve the old ways of life and these little features are generally well-kept, some even boasting flower baskets  in the summer!


The hotel and restaurant on the main road through the village. This forms quite a busy route for lorries, as the road takes non-motorway traffic, following the river's course, west to east across the area. On the chilly but dry November day we visited, all downstairs shutters were closed up, as you can see! Many such businesses shut down for holidays before Christmas and this could be the reason for the lack of activity.

Almost next door is the Mairie, presumably closed for lunch! A grand building for a relatively small village of 500 or so inhabitants.

Just across the road, we saw this lovely fountain and water trough. Below and to the left in the picture, a little stream runs  downhill in a deep channel, away to the main river.

With my liking for mysterious windows and doors, I just couldn't resist this example, set in a huge stone block for some forgotten reason!!

Iron gates in unmistakable French style, but these need some TLC!

and last but certainly not least in  Cellefrouin part 1, the War Memorial. 

Part two to follow next week with more places of interest in the village.


P.S. I also have a daily photo dairy, sometimes interesting sometimes very boring!  http://photodiarydps.blogspot.fr/ 






 
See also - My Life Before Charente Updated 27/11/12

94 comments:

  1. Hi Diane .. great photos and I do love the tours you take us on ... I wonder about the stone hole - milk storage, post, a 'pot' hole ... strange! The little fountain is beautiful in its rustic way - it'd be great if we in the UK protected and revered our things as the French do in their villages ..

    Looking forward to part 2 - cheers Hilary

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    1. Hilary it amazes me how much history there is in all these little villages in France. Part 2 I think is better possibly than part 1, well in my opinion! Have a good week. Diane

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  2. DEAR DIANE, I LOVE THESE POSTS OF YOURS SHOWING US SECRET PLACES OF THAT FRANCE THAT IS NOT USUALLY SEEN ON THE GREAT PICTURES. I ENJOY EVERY INCH OF THEM AND THIS ONE IS A LITTLE JEWEL, THAT ROUND DOOR IS BEATIFUL, I ALSO HAVE A SPECIAL FEELING FOR DOORS AND WINDOWS. REGARDS, PAMELA

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    1. Pamala, I am so glad that you enjoy these posts as I get great pleasure out of looking up the information for these little places. Take care Diane

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  3. the first thing that comes to my mind is that this place looks very peaceful, sth that I miss so much last times:)
    Blog about life and travelling
    Blog about cooking


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    1. Ola out of holiday season, and especially at lunch time France is especially quiet and peaceful. Keep well Diane

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  4. Beautiful pictures, the fountain reminds me of the ones in Rome, the water looks so refreshing! Diane, my husband cannot cook either, he can just eat from a can! He does help clean up though, since I have fibromyalgia I cannot do any heavy work. I cook and he washes the dishes:) You should see all the kitchen helpers I have...a bread making machine, a mixer, blender, a Kenwood kitchen helper, all because I cannot do things like kneading or beating, I get exhausted if I just stand up for more than 15 minutes. Anyway, I do what I can. It took 8 years to diagnose fibromyalgia so now that I know, I adjust my schedule...so to speak, I stay home all day practically:) A big hug! Thank you for stopping by.

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    1. Francesca sorry to hear you have fibromyalgia, I am sure it does not make life easy. I also have all the kitchen helpers as I cannot stand still for long, though things like beating are no problem so long as I can sit. I broke my back as a teenager, and although I have been very lucky with no major problems, standing still is one of the things I cannot do. Very frustrating when you have not got a diagnosis, thankfully you know know what you are up against. Take care Diane

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  5. I love the way in which the French preserve their heritage. Cellefrouin looks a very pretty village, and I look forward to seeing the rest of it. We don't walk round our villages at all, but I am hoping that at some point in the future we shall be able to explore our local landscape as well.

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    1. Vera I can understand that you have little time to do any exploring. When you do manage you will find all sorts of exciting things on your door step so to speak. Keep well Diane

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  6. Super photos, again Diane. You always have an interesting take on a shot.
    Hope the weather is better with you.

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    1. Gaynor it is chilly but not too bad as yet. Also we do not have the water problems that you are having!!! Stay dry and well Diane

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  7. I really do not get out enough living in France,to many trees to chop down!:-) so thanks for the wonderful tours Diane.

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    1. Steve I am very happy to do these tours when I can, and I love looking up the history. If it makes other people happy as well, then all is well in my little world :-) Have a good week Diane

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  8. What a cute little place. The railway must have been tiny. I suppose it got the chop in the days when Beeching was taking the axe to the British network.

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    1. Sarah it was probably all narrow gauge when that station was in use, it is so cute. Keep well Diane

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  9. Awesome photos like usual. I love that little window/door in the huge stone. I wonder where it leads?

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    1. Pam it is a window, but what is behind it, your guess is as good as mine. There is not a door, or another window in what is a large wall! Have a good week Diane

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  10. The round door is just so cute! I would like to know what is behind it.

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    1. cheshire wife, me too, curiosity killed the cat Ha ha. Have a good week Diane

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  11. I love these villages where you take us on tour. With a little round door I wonder if there are hobbits about. ;)

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    1. Gaelyn aha maybe you have the answer LOL. There are so many quaint villages in France and all in easy driving distances. Hope all your plans are going well. Diane

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  12. Gorgeous photos Diane, and it looks like it was a beautiful sunny day also:) Have a good week!
    ~Anne

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    1. Anne it was chilly, but mostly blue skies which I don't mind. I hate it when it is cold and wet!! Take care Diane

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  13. Replies
    1. rosaria a lovely place to walk around with much to see. Have a good week Diane

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  14. Another great little tour, thanks for letting us come along. Can't wait to see part 2.

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    1. Horst glad that you enjoyed it, part two next week if all goes as planned :-) Keep well Diane

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  15. so picturesque, just beautiful, makes me feel more relaxed just looking.

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    1. Muppy I find that the French countryside is generally pretty relaxing. Take care Diane

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  16. nice pictures and how it is describe from you dear friend. So classic and thank you for sharing this wonderful history. It sounds like you are bringing me on that place too by the way you introduce it:) how are you? ;)

    Hope you can visit my other blog here:

    http://www.jansbasic.com

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    1. tejan I am really happy that you feel you are on tour with us and that you are enjoying the history around us. Have a good day. Diane

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  17. nice tour and love that the villages have signs for walkers

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    1. Thanks Rebecca for the comment and yes I agree it is good that they put up signs with walkers in mind. Take care Diane

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  18. AHHH Diane look just beautiful I always enjoy your travels and pictures and yes french countryside is like always I think, just beautiful!

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    1. Gloria so glad that you enjoy these trips, it makes it much nicer for us knowing that other people enjoy these places through our eyes. Keep well Diane

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  19. Very interesting subjects in your photos, Diane. Great set.

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  20. You have a really good eye for spotting little details in the picture Diane.
    And what a lovely tour you gave us. I see that the weather is sunny in your corner of the world. Londonis terribly gray and cold.

    Have a good week.

    Red

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    1. Boye By Red, oops just found your comment in Spam, wonder what happened! The weather is on and off here but most days the sun makes a bit of effort to shine through! Enjoy your weekend Diane

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  21. Diane, I do love these travels that you take us on. I like the pic of the iron gate, there is just something about doors and gates. Such a beautiful area.

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    1. Lyndsey I love doors, gates and windows, some are really interesting. Glad you enjoyed the trip. Keep well Diane

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  22. You live in such a fascinating place Diane, I am grateful that you could share all these for us.

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    1. Chubskulit Rose it amazes us just how much of interest there is in these small villages and all have lots of history. Keep well Diane

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  23. Thank you Diane for taking us on another beautiful tour French village tour :)

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    1. Sara Louise it is a pleasure, glad that you enjoyed. Keep well Diane

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  24. I love those rusty French gates ... Just gorgeous and what a lovely village with a beautiful name to match.
    Hoping you have a great week-end Diane.

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    1. Dianne, I also loved them, my husband wonders why I take photos like that! Take care Diane

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  25. Je retrouve avec plaisir vos vistes à travers ces charmants villages de Charente! Les photos du volet rond et du portail inimitable font bien sourire!
    Bonne soirée à vous!

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    1. Merci Lucie. Nous aimons les petits villages autour de nous en France. Nous recevons beaucoup de plaisir de leur rendre visite. Bonne soirée vous aussi. Diane

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  26. Replies
    1. Mark the whole of France is fascinating I think. The more I see the more I love about it. Keep well Diane

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  27. What a pictoresque little village. I love your photo's.

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    1. Riet it is a lovely village and more to come in Part 2. Stay well Diane

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  28. It's amazing what you miss when you drive straight through these lovely villages. Must take time to explore more. Great photos Diane, hope you are both well x

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    1. Kerry when I think of what we have missed when we drive back and forth in a hurry it really bugs me. There is so much history in almost every village we go to around here, though sometimes it is not obvious. Seek and ye shall find :-) Hope that your are both well, looking forward to you visiting again. Diane xx

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  29. Very interesting and great pics, as usual. I find it so interesting with the war memorials in most of the towns you visit. Love the one with the iron gates. Have a great weekend, my friend!

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    1. Thanks Pam, it is a pleasure to find that so many people enjoy these walks around the villages, you have a great weekend also Diane

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  30. I love taking a walk in the villages that speak of history from a bygone era. I am so happy to see that the local authorities take care to preserve their heritage. No wonder everything looks neat and in order. I can sit besides that river for hours doing nothing, thank you very much for taking us on this beautiful trail through your stunning pictures and lovely commentary :-)

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    1. Arti there is so much restoration going on in France of public buildings. It is sad though that some of the privately owned buildings are falling down because the young people can not afford to renovate and it is cheaper to build a new home. Our house is 200 years old and it was not cheap to restore and there is still much more maintenance than a new home. We love the old places though. Keep well Diane

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  31. I feel calm seeing these pictures, especially like the old Iron gates in French style. Thanks for sharing.

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    1. Sonia it is a very calming village especially at this time of the year with no tourists around. It is a pleasure to share. Keep well Diane

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  32. Looks like a delightful place to visit! Love your photos!

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    1. The Café Sucré Farine it is a gorgeous little place, it amazes me how we just keep finding these places so close to home. Have a great weekend Diane

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  33. C'est toujours un plaisir de t'accompagner dans tes voyages.
    A bientôt

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    1. C'est un plaisir de vous montrer les villages proches. A bientôt. Bon week-end Diane

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  34. Lovely pics! I know the region quite well and for me these photos perfectly capture the characteristic colours of the stone which is used for buildings in that area. It's as if I were there.

    Not being a proficient photographer I can't say why that should be but I suspect that it has something to do with the contrast and light levels you used. Or sumfink...:)

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    1. Fripouille it was a very clear day, the sun was quite low and very bright. I have a cheap camera that I just use on auto and if the light levels are right, it is not due to any skill by me!! I would love a good camera, but I wonder if I would ever be able to work out how to use it. I am now one up from my old brownie box with a digital :-)) Watch out for Part 2. have a good weekend Diane

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  35. A very pretty area. Thanks so much for sharing your pictures of your visit to Cellefrouin. Have a great weekend.

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    1. Michel it is a beautiful little place and more to come in Part 2. Keep well Diane

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  36. I love these little French towns and villages. They all need a bit of TLC but that doesn’t detract from their charm.

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    1. Friko many of them are getting TLC but it is slow and expensive. I agree they are charming. Have a good Sunday Diane

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  37. Hello Diane. Lovely as always. My husband has taken to photographing old bridges in Australia using panorama. They look wonderful. Your railway halt prompted me to share this. I checked out your photo diary. I'd like to make a site where I added my pictures for bloggers to help themselves, but it would be a daunting task. :D

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    1. Hi Denise. When I started the photo diary I though it would be easy, but on busy days it is anything but. Never the less it is a record for ourselves as well as extra photos for bloggers if they are interested. Problem is I dare not forget my camera now:-)
      Is your husband blogging the photos or is it just for his pleasure as I would love to see some of the pics. Take care Diane

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  38. What a fascinating area of France you have chosen to live in Diane. This is not a region we know much about ourselves and always find your exploratory tours of the area absolutely fascinating.

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    1. Linda we are surprised almost every time we go out. There are so many little villages around with so much history. Hope all well over there. Diane

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  39. How lovely!!!
    Thanks so much for your comments too! I have been away... I greatly look forward to the St. Nicholas church you found and will indeed post about it! Thanks!
    Hope you are well!
    Blessings,
    Ann

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    1. Hi Anne aha so that was why my comments did not appear! I will let you have what photos I have when I do my post towards the end of this week. I will not be using them all but you are welcome to what I have. Take care Diane

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  40. Hi Diane, I seem to fallen a bit behind with reading blogs too. I hope you are well!!
    What a lovely walk you took and you got some really great pictures. I really like that one of the iron gates - they look great with that greenery growing them them.

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    1. Ellie I am getting far behind as well, the days go by far too fast. I also loved that iron gate, so very French. Keep well Diane

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  41. You've got many wonderful photos in this post Diane. I'm sure you are having such a lovely time exploring the different towns and villages in your new found country.

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    1. Joyful you will particularly like Part 2 I think. There is just so much to see here it is hard in what order to pick these places. Hope all well with you Diane

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  42. I enjoy your visits to the small villages in France...they are charming. You miss so much when you travel the busy roadways.

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    1. backroadjournal there is just so much to see here and every place has it very own character. Glad that you enjoy. Keep well Diane

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  43. What fantastic scenery, Diane, What fun it must be to visit these beautiful places in your adopted country. Have a wonderful evening. Blessings...Mary

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    1. Mary it is a very pretty village, but then so many of them are in France. Have a wonderful day. Diane

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  44. Thanks for the little tour around the backstreets. You sure do have a big following now.

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    1. Diane b, thanks for the kind comment, keep well Diane

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  45. This part of France is very fascinating indeed. I do not know that very much, but I really love it.
    It is the area where the advance of the Arabs had been stopped in the VIII century. Sometimes I think about the possible present time, if on that age history would drive to a different path...
    Your report is a sweet rainbow in a tourist route.
    Thank You and all the best!

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    1. Gio Ve, so much history here in France that it is hard to keep track of what is what. It is though so interesting and to think I hated history at school!! Keep well Diane

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  46. always enjoy looking at the photos of your walk. another peaceful place i believe. YOu mean most of the people there already shutting down their business for the christmas holidays?

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    1. Lena the tourist trade is in mid-summer, over winter things get very quiet other than a few restaurants that are open. Diane

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  47. The iron gate is sooooo pretty!
    I hope it will be re-polished/ re-painted.

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    1. I also love that gate, my husband wondered why I was taking a photo of it! Diane

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