Crozant crosses (Creuse) : their history remains an enigma
Will the crosses of Crozant one day reveal their secrets ? Noëlle Bertrand, historian, former history teacher at the Pierre-Bourdan high school in Guéret and member of the science society, explains.
These crosses can be found within a radius of 10 km from Crozant. 35 have been identified in the commune of Crozant and 17 in neighbouring communes. Carved out of a single block of granite, they have no decoration, says Noëlle Bertrand, historian, former history teacher at the Pierre-Bourdan high school in Guéret and member of the Natural, Archaeological and Historical Sciences Society of the Creuse.
From her meeting with Pierre Barbaud, a former teacher at Saint-Sébastien, as with many other "watchmen" of these small crosses, many questions were raised on the subject: are they to be found elsewhere than in Crozant, than in Creuse? How can their location and interest be explained? To which period can they be linked? Noëlle Bertrand formulates a number of hypotheses.
"Nowhere in France are there so many crosses of this type. They can be found in the Vexin, in Franche-Comté and in Brittany, but not with such a high density of settlements. In Creuse, the last cross was found in the commune of Bazelat a short time ago. These small crosses do not exceed 80 cm above ground level. Some have a cupule on the head. They were placed at the entrance of a road, of a farm.
"They all look the same and probably date from the same period. They could correspond to the period of Christianisation when the cross could have been placed to protect the land, the animals and the farmers in exchange for religious protection. This type of belief is still found today for Palm Sunday, when a boxwood stem is planted to protect the fields, buildings and to have good harvests.