Chaumussay in Southern Touraine is a charming little village in the valley of the Claise river - it is worth making a detour to drive through here in summer to view their floral arrangements plus the 'grotto' cut into the rock face at one end of the lovely stone bridge
We are not sure why this elaborate grotto, which is dedicated to the baby Jesus is here and could find very little information on it.
It was possibly added as the village had been a place of pilgrimage for many years (right up to the early 70's) to worship at the village's own 'Calvary' on the hillside. It was important enough to be visited by the Archbishop of Tours in 1893.
To the right of the grotto there is a rather grand small structure supporting a statue of St Mark standing over a well with, you will not be surprised to hear, miraculous healing powers.Did they stop working in the 70's?
The water drops down to a pool below via a what is described locally as a 'camels head' formed by lime deposits - you can decide for yourself what you think it looks like.
Back over the bridge there is an interesting 12th century church with 'Joan' statue standing guard outside.
There is also a former tithe barn with its rather fancy pigeonnier with its zinc façade.
As we said, worth the detour!