Merpins - Sentier François Ier

Located at the confluence of the Né and Charente rivers, the Merpins commune has been permanently occupied by men from very early times: arrowheads, pottery shards, and later an imposing medieval fortress, an 11th century church and an abbey dating back to the 12th century are the living proof. These fertile lands are home to meadows, cereal fields and a Grande-Champagne listed vineyard.

Technical sheet
A Merpins walk posted on 18/03/15 by GCTourisme. Update : 24/03/16
Calculated time Calculated time: 2h40[?]
Distance Distance : 9.14km
Vertical gain Vertical gain : 23m
Vertical drop Vertical drop : 20m
Highest point Highest point : 30m
Lowest point Lowest point : 6m
Easy Difficulty : Easy
Back to starting point Back to starting point : Yes
Walking Walking
Location Location : Merpins (16100)
Starting point Starting point : N 45.67622° / W 0.393879°
Map IGN Map (Click to buy) : Ref. 1632SB
Download : -

Description

(D) Starting from Saint-Rémy church in the old village of Merpins.
Facing the church, walk down Rue de l’Eglise then go right on to rue du Château, until you reach the junction with Rue du Cocuron that you will take to your right.
(1) Before the little bridge, take the white path (chemin Pas) to your right. After 2 km, take the little street on your right which leads up to the D732. At the road, turn left, cross over, then turn right on to Rue de la Frenade. Walk down to the railway track and cross it.
(2) 200m after the railway track, take the path on your left, then the first to the right. Go straight at the first crossing then head right at the 2nd. When you come to Avenue des Ponts, go right and right again after the little square (Rue de l’Abbaye).
Walk up Rue de l’Abbaye, then rue Fagnard and finally Rue du Fournil on your left. Follow this road then take the path to the left (3) (private lane but access agreed with the owner) towards Fontenelles Manor (manoir des Fontenelles). Go around it to the right-hand side and take the path opposite the manor house (4). Then follow the path to your left and to the left again at the crossroads.
Walk along the railway road which should be to your right, cross the train tracks and take the road to the right (5) walking up towards the buildings. Then go left, walk past the cemetery and cross the D732. Turn left then promptly right to get back onto the road that leads to Rue de l’Eglise, your starting point (D).

Waypoints :
D/A : km 0 - alt. km 0
1 : km 0.3 - alt. km 0.3 - Cocuron Bridge : turn right
2 : km 3.27 - alt. km 3.27 - Turn left
3 : km 5.41 - alt. km 5.41 - Private lane : turn left
4 : km 6.29 - alt. km 6.29 - Turn left
5 : km 8.03 - alt. km 8.03 - Turn right
D/A : km 9.14 - alt. km 9.14

Useful Information

Follow the blue waymarks. Path also suitable for mountain bikes.

We advise taking IGN maps with you on this walk. Click here to buy : 1632SB.

Visorando and this author cannot be held responsible in the case of accidents or problems occuring on this walk.

During the walk or to do/see around

(D) Saint-Rémy Church – 12th century but mostly rebuilt in the 19th century (cf. information panel on the church).
De la Frenade Abbey built around 1140. The buildings were destroyed during the Religious Wars. Only the south wall of the 12th century nave remains as well as the 16th century chapter hall.
Old Merpins village :

  • Remains of the 8th century feudal castle. King Richard Lionheart seizes it in 1176 and King John rebuilds it in the 13th century. In 1242, Merpins is given to the King of France only to return under English control in 1360. The castle is destroyed in 1387.
  • Cocuron Bridge dated 1777. On the parapet, a series of small holes are the remainders of a game called “the mill game”: workers and villagers alike used to come and play this game while sitting on the parapet.

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