A bit of history...
Before the 19th century, the fountains, from which the villagers used to take water for their daily needs, were very rudimentary as their purpose was only to protect the spring and to make the collection of the precious liquid easy.
Some fountains and springs were the object of religious practices like pilgrimages or of superstitious and popular beliefs (holy fountains).
At the beginning of the 19th century, with the development of water conveyance, new fountains started to be installed. Their structure is much more elaborate and they are often embellished with statues or other ornaments.
They appear in the busiest places, such as near a church or a market…).List of the fountains:Municipality of Gros Chastang:
• The Saint Front fountain: between Couffinier and Brigoux, by the side of an old way, half-way down, stands this oratory and fountain where a procession used to take place every 25th October. The saint was prayed to to bring good weather, chase devils or get the crippled to walk.
Municipality of Gumont:
• A fountain dedicated to Saint George by the Gaud brook.
Municipality of La Roche Canillac:
• A fountain near the shop (place de la Fontaine): built into the wall and protected by a barrel vault, with water spurting out of a stone lion head. This fountain was installed in the 19th century to the request of a village notable, Mr Lafond de Saint Mür.
• Fountain by the church: a public drinking fountain from which water spurts out of the mouth of a bronze lion head into a semicircular basin.
• Fountain (or spring) in La Roche Basse: this old water trough consists of two basins, the one emptying into the other one below it. Like the houses in La Roche Basse, this fountain was built with stones from the old castle.
Municipality of Saint Pardoux la Croisille:
• Down a path winding from the church square to the right bank of the Doustre, the fountain of Saint Eutrope is a simple round hole in the rock. It is indicated by a Latin cross. The object of an annual procession on Saint Eutrope’s day, the fountain had the reputation to have miraculous powers to heal migraine, relieve the infirm and the maimed and to free prisoners. Saint Eutrope was also invoked to protect the crops from late frost. At the end of the pilgrimage, the pilgrims used to throw coins into the water to win the Saint’s favour.