We passed the Gallo-Roman “villa” site and Castle Blaison, originally a wooden castle from the 10th century. Burnt in a fire in 1130, rebuilt and burnt again in 1147 (both fires started by the Count of Anjou!), it was rebuilt in stone in the 13th century. Partly destroyed again over the centuries, extensive repairs were finally carried out in 1960 and it remains a very impressive building. Most of the older homes in Blaison Gohier were chaplaincies for the canons of the Chapter of Blaison, with beautiful facades and carved windows. Interesting notices informed us of the history of some of these mansions.
Always spectacular in May, the countryside this year was exceptional and we strolled down tracks strewn with cowslips, violets, purple orchids and lady’s smock - a mixture of French and English being used to identify each lovely specimen. As the sun continued to shine coats, scarves, hats and gloves were gradually removed and everyone strolled on enjoying the sunshine and views, particularly the spectacular view of Angers.
Our route returned to the village to meet more members for lunch and, moving to nearby picnic tables, we toasted Tony Oakley for organising a memorable walk in a village many of us had never heard of until today.
Just to top off the event, Colin and Dorothy had arrived in their beautifully restored Citroen Traction car prompting admiration from us all. We all agreed it was a stunning end to a wonderful day.