The barn and garden - Les Tours de Merle

The barn and garden

The barn and stable, built at the foot of the Merle boulders, take visitors on a journey back into the daily life of 14th century farmers, to visit a house.

The "mixed house" 

This barn had two levels : for humans and for animals.

> "the high end" : which was a dwelling but was also used to store grains ;  
> "the low end" : for livestock and tools.


The barn’s roof was made of straw and the stable’s roof was made of chestnut shingles, tied together with hemp string.

All domestic animals were bred and their reproduction was monitored. Animal breeds have evolved quite a bit since the Middle Ages, due to selection and crossbreeding. It is difficult to identify which breeds existed, but from studying different bones, we can say that cattle, sheep, pigs, horses and other farm animals were all smaller than they are today.

The terraced garden

At the end of your tour, discover the Merle garden and its lovely smells. Here, you’ll see plants that were used for cooking, medicine, to make clothing and dyes, from the Early Middle Ages to today. Besides fruits, vegetables, herbs and spices, medieval gardens also had ancestral flora, which was used to develop plants as we know them today.

Many fruits (such as apples), nut trees and vines grow in the Merle park.

The terraced garden has been recently reorganised and is at the very begining of its valorisation within the site. Located by the water near the remains of an ancient mill, it allows to extend the Tours de Merle walk in a more bucolic way, deviating from the main paths. It presents itself to you at the end of the visit, with its freshness, its perfumes and the diversity of its vegetation.