In the Vendée in Western France, between Nantes and La Rochelle, there are a number of interesting prehistoric monuments dating from the Stone Age. One of the finest is the Frébouchère dolmen which has an extremely large capstone
Around the year 1833 a clandestine excavation by treasure hunters left the dolmen in an unstable condition. The monument was restored in 1887.
The dolmen is orientated to the south east. The rectangular chamber is 7.20 m long and on average 3.50 m wide. There are 9 uprights in total, seven of granite and two of sandstone.
The chamber is covered with a single capstone 8.30 m long, 5.50 m wide and 0.65 m thick,with an estimated weight of more than 80 tons. It was broken in two by a lightning strike which happened either in 1793, according to Abbé Baudry, or in 1815 according to Léon Audé. Perhaps neither date is correct as the break could be much older or it might originally have been made of two pieces carefully joined together. The quarry from which the granite blocks of stone came lies 50 metres to the west.
A few hundred metres away to the north and northeast are more monuments, known as the menhirs of Frébouchère.
No archaeological material has been found here, but a polished axehead was found nearby during surface investigations.
Text Harrie Wolters
Translation Alun Harvey