The Scots have Culloden and its Memorial on the
Windswept ridge between Moray Firth and River Nairn, with
a sober granite cairn as a sombre reminder of a past that is
not always easy for us to live with.
With the sky and the wind around him, the visitor to this
ancient battlefield may reflect in silence and dignity on
nations' pasts, always relevant to today's world and its
The Bretons, too, have their Culloden, close to the town of
Saint-Aubin-du-Cormier in the department of Ille-et-Vilaine,
Brittany. But any future visitor wishing to stop at this site
and walk across the lands (moor land), that was the scene
of a massacre by the well-armed mercenaries and troops of
the french court in 1488, will not find the dignity nor the
silence that impresses the tourist on Culloden Moor. He will,
instead, be met by a vast rubbish heap - "a site
d'enfouissement pour dechets ultimes"...
For the mayors Saint-Aubin-du-Cormier the nearby village
of Mézières-sur-Couesnon's are determined to use the old
site and its periphery to "meet a public need" (my quote).
Quite naturally, the local population do not agree,
particulary as the procedure has not as yet reflected any
debate or democracy, but it has also incensed those
Bretons who have respect for their history.
Those who oppose this scheme have asked for
archaeological research to help define the boundaries of the
battle and the rout that followed it. The reply by the
"Sictom" de Fougeres', the organisation for collecting and
treating household rubbish, is to instigate a dig at the
beginning of November. Good, that sounds fair enough...
but this field in particular is where no local farmer or his
ancestors have ever found any remains of the battle itself,
unlike other fields, gardens or copse, which have turned up
canon balls, pieces of sword belts, etc, in the past.
Sir Edward de Wydeville, Lord Scales, had come from Isle
of Wight with 600 archers to help the Bretons defend their
land and what was a thriving economy at the time. He lies,
with all his men somewhere on the lands of