An archaeological site and a museum of prehistory to visit in Charente Maritime

Discover prehistory otherwise ...
From May 1st to September 30th
An exciting free course will plunge you into an authentic setting in the Bruant glacier valley.


Free visits

You will discover this year a karst course consists of 5 panels on the path leading to the caves.

These panels will explain the formation of caves, glacial valley, and resurgences. Other panels inside the Bouil-Blue cave, will explain the successive occupation sequences.

Visit the museum individually in the tower porch on 2 levels.

The first floor "Henry de Lestrange room" offers an introduction to prehistory from 2 million years ago with Homo habilis until the Bronze Age.

A video loop on the museum and the prehistory of the area as well as a table showing the chronology of flint and to touch them, are available to the disabled and visually impaired. These services are included in the price of access to the gardens.


Guided tour

We are able to present this year a guided and personalized tour of the museum with a demonstration tool use (visit provided by a specialist).

Outside, a guided and commented visit of the glacial valley and karst formation is marked by five educational tablet placed between the castle and the caves where information panels provide information about the different phases of occupation.

The scheduled visit of two hours gives you access to the park and gardens.

The second level, "Paul Chénereau room / Jacques Baden" is devoted to the prehistory of the Charente-Maritime, in the municipality of Saint-Porchaire and caves of the area as well as a permanent exhibition on the history of prehistory.

Guided tours of the museum and outdoor runs are by reservation for groups of 15 people.


1- This area is known for its historic journey with the castle but also proto, with ancient walls, mounds or small tombelles of the Iron Age and a Merovingian cemetery of the early Middle Ages.

Two other burial caves have delivered us human bones dating from the Neolithic.

La Roche-Courbon is a major site of saintongeaise prehistoric caves which were delivered in small limestone blocks, the only prints updates in Charente-Maritime.


2- These figures represent the theoretical niches of these periods, the caves have not seen continuous occupation. The excavations result is shown in the museum of prehistory.

3- The first excavations were carried out in 1880 by Eugene and Felix Lemarié Bossé, teachers in Saint-Porchaire. In 1924 Marcel Clouet, Saintais teacher, discovers three plates engraved limestone: Two decorated with mammoth and another horse head duckbill. These pads are attributed to the Aurignacian or Gravettian to, placing an age range between - 30,000 to - 19,000 years

4- In 1939 Marcel Clouet search the cave known as "the castle", located in the rocky slab under the castle and discovers another prehistoric cave attributed to the Mousterian and Aurignacian.

In 1949 Paul Chénereau, the time owner, asks Marcel Clouet and Pierre Geay organize a prehistoric museum in the castle dungeon.

5- In 1956 and 1957 Pierre Geay, Robert and Camille Colle Gabet discover in Bouil-Blue cave burial they attribute to the Aurignacian until 1995, when the owner Jacques Baden decided to make a radiometric carbon 14 which gave a result of 1870 years. We are in the presence of a Gallo-Roman skeleton.

6- In 2005 Yves Olivet and Thierry Le Roux discovered a new plaque engraved in the Triangle cave. This limestone block is engraved with an equine head topped with triangles.

7- In 2008 the idea of restructuring the museum by Yves Olivet and Thierry Le Roux was born. The work will be completed in 2012 with a team of volunteers and the association of friends: AMICOUR

The archaeological activities at Roche-Courbon

A necropolis of the early Middle Ages is on the field. DRAC (Regional Direction of Cultural Affairs) has given permission to a stripping campaign in 2011 and followed up.

Other works:

tombelles cleaning the Iron Age.

Cleaning an ancient wall.

This work aims to present in the future, guided archaeological tour.


school groups

We offer school groups guided tours on the theme of prehistory.
You will discover the prehistoric museum whose renovation was completed in 2012.
Two rooms transport you to these glacial periods when our ancestors survived.
The first room is an educational room on the main stages of prehistory.
The second room is devoted to the prehistory of the Charente-Maritime.
picnic on site.
La Roche-Courbon, is a hotbed of Saintongeaise prehistory with caves and caverns accessible from the castle by a nice forest road. Throughout your journey, the panels will explain the simplified formation of caves and valley. Under the porch of the caves, other signs will inform you about the occupation sequences by our ancestors.
These activities are linked with the museum.

For disabled

We suggest visiting the museum, karst course, caves, images, using a screen that will allow you to enjoy a guided tour.

For the blind

A turntable is available to you. It consists of 12 squares containing prehistoric tools. You will discover through touch these flint objects that prehistoric men have fashioned. The table is equipped with a Victor sound monitor that will give you the explanations of each box.

Contact us

Our secretary is reachable all year, Monday to Friday
from 9 :15am to 12:30am and 1:30pm to 6pm.
The reception is open daily from 9am to 7pm from 01/05 to 30/09 from 10am to 12 and from 2pm to 6pm at weekends in January, from 01/02 to 30/04 and from 01/10 to 31/12.

17250  Saint-Porchaire

Tél : 05 46 95 60 10

Fax : 05 46 95 65 22

Mail :


Get in touch


La Roche Courbon friends association

Come join us and participate in our many activities by joining the 260 members.

Registration allows you free access to the area throughout the year.

You can download your bulletin  here