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The Romans had an encampment here, as Chantonnay was on what was called the "Tin Road" between Aquitaine and Brittany. It was inhabited well before the Romans as is evident by the existence of megaliths and caves from the earlier Celtic period.
The town was invaded by the English in 1369 and suffered badly during the wars of religion when "Dragonnades " were  used to intimidate the protestants. Again during the Wars of the Vendée the town became the centre of fierce conflict. The first battle was at St.Vincent Sterlanger but the bloodiest was at Pont-Charrault, a bridge over the Grand Lay river where the Republicans under Marceau were defeated by Royand and D'Elbee in a battle that saw over 5,000 dead. Chantonnay became prosperous due to its coal and limestone deposits, but also due to its position on the crossroads of two major routes,from Les Sables d'Olonne to Saumur and Nantes to Bordeau. Today the town relies on agriculture and tourism for the majority of its income.

The town has a park that is worthy of a visit, the Parc Clemenceau which is opposite the college on the Rue Clemenceau in it there are many century old trees. It is open daily and is free to enter.

Lac du Touchegray.  Created by the barrage at l'Angle de Guigard on the river Lay this large lake in a wooded valley is ideal for swimming, sailing, canoeing and windsurfing as well as providing great walks and picnic areas. There is are two excellent restaurant by the side of the lake.

Lake Rochereau. Situated 7 kilometres east of Chantonnay just off the D 949b road to la Chataigneraie, is this large reservoir, which is ideal for sailing, fishing and walking. The restaurant of la Morliere at the top end of the lake has both superb views over the lake and great food.

Chateau Sigournais. The village of Sigournais is (just) 5 kilometres east of Chantonnay near the lake at Rochereau and has one of the finest feudal castles in the Vendée.

The small village of Puybelliard just a kilometre to the North West has both an interesting small château and village square.

Restaurants;        La Rocade. Parc d'Activities Polaris. Tel. 02 51 31 00 51.
Le Bristrot. 13, Place Tileuis Puybelliard. Tel. 02 51 94 33 64.
Le Canotier. 5, Place Georges Clemenceau. Mouchamps. Tel.02 51 66 28 49.
Le Grilladin. 29, Ave de Lattre de Tassigny.  Tel.02 51 48 57 33.
Le Moulin Neuf. Le Lac Touchegray.  Tel. 02 51 94 30 27.
Palais Phimket. Ave Henri Rochereau.  Tel., 02 28 15 96 31
Le Clemenceau. 44, ave Georges Clemenceau.  Tel. 02 5146 83 81.
Le Touchegray. Le Lac Touchegray.  Tel. 02 51 46 95 20.

Camping;    Camping Commune de Chantonnay.  5 rue du Moulin.  Tel. 02 51 94 87 01.

TaxisGodreau Villain. 55 Ave de Lattre de Tassigny,  Tel. 02 51 469319

Return to find more interesting towns and villages in the Vendee
chantonnay church
chantonnay market
Church at Puybelliard
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