Saturday, November 29, 2014

All Roads Lead into and out off MONTHOU sur CHER

Driving, riding to and from Thenay in most cases took us through the lovely village of Monthou sur Cher. Even if we didn't have to, we would anyway. Monthur sur Cher is nestled in a valley with all but one way out being up hill so I would mostly ride in and out for some hill work.

Scenes from Monthou sur Cher
There are so many roads leading in and out of Monthur sur Cher. For those not aware, many names are identified by the rivers that are nearby. Monthur is about 2 kms from the Cher river hence the "sur Cher".
This water way leads to the idyllic lake dividing the village into two areas. One side has the Marie, church and small commercial area, the other is the recreational centre and restaurant. 
It would not matter how many times you came through Monthur sur Cher, there would be another scene worth a photograph. 

We found out why so many restaurants seem so busy in these out of the way rural areas. It seems that many, as part of their employment package get lunch vouchers or concessions. From noon to 2.00 pm is the traditional lunch period and the farmers in their little white vans, and the road workers in their hi vis vests come in for whatever is on the menu for that day.
Like most of the villages in this area, photos from about one hundred years ago are displayed at different points to show the differences, or in some cases, no difference. The village from memory has six or more roads leading in (or out). There's two small waterways that pass by and quite a large lake with a restaurant overlooking it and playing fields. Naturally it has its own 12th or 13th century church.

The main road in from rue Nationale takes you by this scene from maybe early 1900s.
And today there are very few changes except that this house has been renovated and well cared for. Many are not and sometimes in ruins. It is in some cases more economical to rebuild rather than renovate houses of several centuries in age.
I don't remember the age of this church and one gets a bit blasé after seeing heaps of XII/XIII churches in the various villages. Although there is little change with the church, with the advent of cars, a square has been formed in front that allows for some parking.

Monthou had its own mill built on the small water way that runs to the Cher river. There is a small bridge and judging by the shape of the building, its not hard to imagine that the bridge was there first.
The old Mill comes to a sharp point where it meets the bridge. 
The owners in their sympathetic restoration of the Mill have retained the Mill wheel that can be seen by the wall.
It is however fairly overgrown with brambles.
Some other local scenes of the edges of Monthou sur Cher

With a population of less than 1000 residents, its been documented that the area was inhabited from Palaeolithic to Neolithic times. The land is rich in flint clay. The Roman's also settled at nearby Thesee less than two kilometres away. There ruins are still visible where it was said that the settlement produced pottery. I stole this photo from our Blogging friends Susan and Simon whom we always try to say hello when in the Loire. Susan tells its history with far more detail that I can.
Visit their site via the link. or see my side bar for their blog.

Thesee Roman ruins - photo taken by Susan from Days on the Claise
At the north east road leading out of the village is the Chateau of Gue Pean which was started in the 15th Century. Although closed for the season as we drove up, it looked to be in a fairly average state. You see several Chateaux in the Loire et Cher region that are now down at heel due to the great expense to maintain. The Chambord, Chenonceau and Charmont Chateaux are national treasures and therefore are financed both by the government and the general public passing through the gates.

On the other side of Monthou not more than 2 kms away is the local Chateau.
Gue Pean is also an equestrian centre. Unfortunately we were too late in the year to explore the inside.

Although we left the Loire et Cher region today and staying overnight at Versailles before settling in a Paris apartment for the last week, we still have several posts to publish before we leave for Melbourne, our Home by the Bay. The journey is not yet over.


  1. By now, you know the Loire valley inside and out. I never heard of Monthou. I hope you are having good weather. Have a fabulous time in Paris for your last week!

    1. Nadege - we are now in Paris via Versailles. It's been a grand time in the Loire and I feel I know the area from Saumur to Romorantin very well now. Paris is also very familiar after six visits from 2006 to 2014. Pleased you could join us on our journey.


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