Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Cazelles and Gariottes

Dedou at Mas de Meric
Our fascinating day last week exploring 19th century France began here with Dedou and the photos he's collected of over 400 stone structures in the commune of Promilhanes. It's amazing to think there are this many in this small area alone. The structures are called either cazelles or gariottes. As Dedou explained. cazelles are the small stone buildings with wooden door frames and lintels, while gariottes are built without these wood additions. As the peasants cleared their rocky fields, they used the stone to build the dry stone walls you see everywhere here on the causse. Almost every field also had a small stone structure for the shepherd or farmer to use in bad weather or as a place to rest, have a bite to eat and watch over his livestock. Many of the cazelles and gariottes are built right into the walls, while some are free standing.

Sue, Trevor, Maggie and Bill admiring over 400 photos of stone huts.
This is a free-standing cazelle in a field near Promilhanes. Note the wood lintel and door frame

If you are interested in viewing the exhibit of photos, the walnut press and the bee house, they will be open for touring during patrimony days the third weekend of June, i.e. the 15th and 16th. You can access the website (in French) here , where additional details will be available soon


  1. hi Evelyn - thought I'd better mention he said he would not be opening this year on the jour de patrimoine as he wanted to visit the walnut mill in St Antonin himself, he thought it was going to be working with a horse turning the wheel

    1. Thanks, Sue! I must have missed that. I did hear him speaking about the walnut mill in St.Antonin, but didn't realize that meant he wouldn't be open for tours.

  2. I never knew the difference between a cazelle and a gariotte - thanks for enlightening me.

    Just to add to Sue's comment - I went to the Saint-Antonin walnut mill a couple of years ago and there is a horse turning the wheel. However, it's the wrong time of year for nuts so you don't see any oil being produced.