Dolmen-hunting is as much to do with good fortune as research. My luck today was to meet an amateur online local historian – his good fortune was to find an avid dolmen-hunter, complete with bottomless ear. Without Jacques Cros, ex-physics teacher and deep-dyed native of Cessenon, I could never have found sites like Lugné and this one. ‘Mais non – j’suis pas un historien – j’suis La Memoire du Village.’
If you cannot be charmed by a modesty that comes dressed in capital letters, and a self-deprecating chuckle – you’ll never get on with France.
At the crossroad of the D 36 E1, linking Cébazan to Villespassans, and the D 20, from Cessenon to St. Chinian, there’s a dirt road, straight across from the D 36 E1, which climbs up to le Pech de Montmajou. Follow it for a few hundred metres, and don’t turn off left. Keep on past a patch of old vineyard covered in weeds and another few hundred metres brings you to a three-way cross, and a large green fire-fighting water tank. Park there and with your back to the tank look around NW. You’re just below the ridge of Les Lauzes Couvertes, and the dolmen is just visible on the skyline, to your left, about 20 metres away.
It faces SW and it’s fairly impressive – in a top-heavy sort of way. It could be 7 m. long, all told, and almost 2 m.high. But it is narrow at less than 1 m. and the lozenge-shaped table seems disproportionate at 3m. x 1.5 m.
If you have time there are some interesting stone structures dotted all over this hill – capitelles, or bories – temporary shelters for those who worked these terraces. Around Villespassans there are circular rock-drawings at Combebelle, and grottes sépulcrales at Colombeyre, Coustorgues, des Pères & Cap del Moundo.
On the excellent Geoportail site, choose exploration mode and you’ll find the dolmen-symbol faintly visible on their IGN map at 2.56’50” E, 43.23’54” N
I have since met another local historian who recommends this name for the dolmen (also known to archaeologists of the early 20th C. as le dolmen des Lauzes Couvertes ) because it is geographically closer to La Linquière – and because there is already a dolmen at the highest point on Montmajou. See the Page on Montmajou Dolmen.