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The beautiful stele of the Plouarzel cemetery

(Municipality of Plouarzel)

Parking GPS : 48°25'59 N   4°43'56.1 W

Access :    Park preferably on the town hall's large car park and walk to the church.
To the left of the gate, enter the new cemetery. The Christianized stele is located near the back wall.

  It is a very beautiful Christianized Gallic stele with an octagonal section. It was standing on the other side of the church, at the southeast corner of the old cemetery and was moved about 50 metres when the extension was completed in 1981. Unlike most other Gallic stelae in the Pays d'Iroise, this one, despite its moving, has therefore retained its original function, which was to indicate the presence of remains of the deceased.

1.80 m high, in the shape of a truncated pyramid, it has uneven faces : its four large sides are 43 to 22 cm wide from bottom to top, while its four small faces, which are cut sections, are 27 to 14 cm long.
It supports an obviously less ancient cross, but whose foot has been cut out to perfectly fit the top of the stele. We will notice, under the small tufts of lichen that invade it, that the branches are redented, i.e. equipped with points forming kinds of teeth, eight in number. This type of cross, very rare in Brittany, is believed to date from the 14th century. 1 An expert in Breton crosses, Y.P. Castel compared the redents to the lobes that adorned the rosettes of stained glass windows at the time.

-1- See the book below by Abbé Yves-Pascal Castel, published in 1980 by the "Société archéologique du Finistère" and the article he wrote in the "Progrès-Courrier" of 25 January 1997 entitled "Les rares croix redentées du Finistère".


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