Sunday, 22 January 2017

Plestin-les-Grèves and the Hogolo Roman Baths

This weekend, we drove up to stay with our friends Bob and Val. On Saturday, they took us to Plestin-les-Grèves, a small Breton town situated on the north coast. We took the dogs too so they could have a nice walk.

It was bitterly cold so we wrapped up well. Soon we were marching along the footpath that ran along the coast with Spencer and Ludo running alongside us.

Bob had mentioned that there were some historic Roman Baths nearby and after about 20 minutes we came across them - Les Thermes Gallo-Romains de Hogolo or The Gallo-Roman Baths of Hogolo.

About 15 km away is the Roman Fort of Yaudet and the Hogolo Baths are part of a range of rural settlements in the area. Dating back to the 1st century, the Baths were discovered in 1892, having been preserved by a sand dune. They were excavated in the 20th century.

The Baths include boiler rooms, hot pools, warm and hot rooms, a locker room and a cold plunge pool.

These are my translations of the numbered rooms:

  1. access stairs
  2. cloakroom
  3. cold room
  4. footbath
  5. cold bath
  6. hallway for the heated rooms
  7. hot pool
  8. boiler room
  9. warm room
  10. hot room
  11. boiler room
  12. hot pool
  13. storage pit for the health ashes
  14. shed/outhouse, comprising of the work area for the heating of the thermal baths
  15. hot water tank


Shed to the left with furnace and hot water tank. Hot pool, hot room and cloakroom to the right.

The hot pools, various rooms and the cold plunge pool to the right.

Bob and Ludo standing in the hallway
Val standing at the window near the cold plunge pool

Me in the cloakroom
Me in the cloakroom

Steps leading to the cold pool


Hot pool

Hot pool

Hot room showing underfloor heating
This next diagram shows how the heating system worked. The heat from the furnace was drawn underneath the floor and then up through the walls and out of the chimneys.

Chris, Bob, Val and Ludo in the Spencer!

Hot room

Cold pool


On the walk back
On the walk back
As you can probably tell, I found it all very interesting!

We were pretty chilly when we arrived back at the car so Bob drove us to nearby Locquirec where we stopped at a café for a much needed hot chocolate!

Thanks for popping by!

Maggie xx


  1. How nice of your friends to steer you over to see this Roman treasure. Amazing that one can walk right in and around the excavation. I suppose the French trust that people will respect the antiquity of the place, and not be destructive. If there were a similar site in the U.S., we'd have to post armed guards near it to prevent vandalism!

  2. I am following your posts by email. What a treasure to be found.

  3. Sorry, but I see that I cannot follow your posts by email. hmmm

  4. How lovely that you are now at the stage where you can get out and about and don't have to spend all of your time on the house!

  5. What a lovely day out and thanks for a great description of the Roman Baths. We have something similar in Chester, not far from where I live. Glad to see that you wrapped up warmly, I bet you enjoyed that hot chocolate !

  6. Isn't that fascinating! That they still exist from that long ago and yet we can't even seem to make highways that lst 1 season! LOL! Thank you for sharing it with us and interpreting!


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