Bread ovens

In days gone by, very many villages had a communal oven, owned by all the inhabitants.
Like a fountain or wash-house, these were special places for daily life in the villages.

Bagnols has preserved two remarkable ovens.

Pain d’Espinasse bread oven
The large stone used in the oven’s interior and the 200 kg of fuel (often broom) required to heat it meant that whole families used to gather to cook the bread. The oven and fourniale (oven room) formed a whole that was designed together originally. The arched roof drew the smoke from the mouth of the oven to the other side of the construction, where the chimney was located. It is strange to see the wreaths of smoke, lit up by the reddening oven, swirling overhead and effortlessly going out of the chimney.

Le Ponchet bread oven
Built in the early 20th century, this oven was renovated in 1987. The oven’s canopy, which is almost as wide as the bakehouse, is covered by a rounded hip roof. The bakehouse, partially reconstructed during restoration processes, has no ceiling. The chimney has a false mantle and has also been restored. A ridge cross, made of stone, lies above the door to the bakehouse.

The oven comprises two parts:
– the bakehouse or
fourniale: this room is used to prepare the bread and store the wood and implements.
– the oven inside which the bread and tarts are cooked. Beneath the oven there is earth and sand to absorb dampness and ensure that the walls of the oven are quite dry.

The oven and fourniale are covered with lauze stone.



Contact information

Le Ponchet: go down le Chemin du Ponchet (opposite the church, beside the bakery).

Espinasse: from Bagnols, follow the D 47 towards Cros, take the first right and follow signs for Espinasse.

Hikes and walks

Parcours visite du village de Bagnols

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