« The friends of Lamballe and Penthièvre Association » was created in 1972 by Georges Penvern. A tablet has been set up to commemorate his souvenir. He was the soul and creator of this much awaited museum. He received much needed help from the town-council. The town owned this old 16th century building, "l'Hoste du Pilori", which was restored and handed over to the association for use as a museum.

An exhibition concerning Penthièvre and its sites of local historical interest on the following themes.
- Chapels and crosses in the area surrounding Lamballe.
- Washing-places and fountains
- Mills and dovecotes
- The military defences of Penthièvre

In a display-case, a modest collection of prehistoric, stone-age, bronze-age and iron-age objects, found in the locality. In the past, many objects were sent to the Archeological Museum, in Saint-Germain-en-Laye. The association possesses the list of these objects.

Cider cups, finely decorated, and a cider-pump
show the importance of this beverage which was sold
cafés or drunk at home. Before the arrival of wine,
it was the sole drink of the Breton People.
Today, it still appreciated and sometimes even used
to make "eau de vie" (brandy).

Paintings and photographs illustrate Lamballe's fairs and markets.

Display-boards give information about the activities of the parchment-makers, the town-drum and the herald.

Some paintings, by Yvon Pincemin, Lamballe artist, represent the old 15th century houses which can be seen in the town-centre, as well as a water-colour by Philippe Gouret on the same subject.

Oil paintings, by Yvon Guilloux, represent views of Lamballe with its churches : St. Jean, Notre Dame and St. Martin, surrounded by natural greens.

In display-cases at the back, a collection of ceramic figurines (representing religious characters) from La Poterie and Pontivy.

Different « Henriot de Quimper » ceramics Louis Henri Nicot's ones (1878-1944) are the most remarkable : in their familiar attitudes, our female Breton ancestors are brought back to life.

Different types of pots and their different uses can be observed.

CHAUFFERETTES: (small metal heating devices). They were filled with hot embers and they emitted a gentle heat. Women put them under their petticoats (cotillons) at mass, or while they mended clothes.

POPANES: water-pots;

TOUQUES À CIDRE/BUETTES: (cider-pots) They
kept the cider cool during harvesting and other
farming activities.

JATTES: used for moulding slabs of butter.

BARATTES OR S'RENNES: The "s'renne" was the forerunner of butter-churn. The milk rested and the cream, which rose to the top, was beaten, sometimes for hours with a "ribot" ( a long wooden stick, with a disc on the end). This is where the term "lait ribot" (buttermilk) came from.

TÉGOTS: these were the most widely used pots: grease and lard were stored in them. They were also used for curdling milk…

PICHETS OR BRIQUES: (pitchers) these were used for bringing the cider from the barrel to the table.

ECUELLES: They were glazed as were all pots which were used for cooking. They were used for serving soup, galettes, porridge and another typical Breton dish which included potatoes mixed with butter-milk.

CALOTS: flagstones which were used for tiling churches and potters'houses.

An important picture called:
THE POT MARKET in Lamballe in the old days, painted by Le Toullec in 1991, shows the main activity in the past in this area.

In this second room which is particularly dedicated to pottery, there is a huge variety of collections to be seen. In the past, our potters existed in large numbers and were active. They lived near Les Landes des Houssats (situated in La Poterie, a village which is 3 kms away from Lamballe.) where they found clay which suited their needs. This clay was kneaded by barefooted potters before being refined by their wives, in order to remove any remaining impurities. Finally, a ball of clay was placed on the potter's wheel, which was turned with a stick, and with a great skill, the potter made
a tégot, a touque, a popane, a jatte, etc

The Finials (roof-top decorations): these were modelled (unlike the pots). The figure known as "the Frederic on horseback" was particularly popular. It was said to have come from Saxony, brought back by one of Louis XV's soldiers on his return from the battle of Rossback in 1757. To show their admiration for the king, the potters created this finial. If you happen to visit the surrounding area, you'll notice numerous finials in Lamballe. If you drive to the château de la Hunaudaye, on your way, you'll be able to observe a chasse à courre( hunting on horseback) sculpted on the ridgepole on the roof of St.-Aubin's castle.

The potters left their pots to dry in the shade or in smoky attics before firing them in large kilns which measured 10m by 3m. These kilns could hold between 2 500 and 3 000 pots.

The kiln was pre-heated using wood, and the heat intensified by adding heather and gorse. The inhabitants of Lamballe could see the smoke rising from the kilns. At its climax, there were 12 of these kilns in La Poterie.

The potters sold their pots at the big annual fair in Montbran, or on Thursdays, at the market-square in Lamballe.

With the arrival of tin, the potters disappeared. This marked the end of centuries of prosperity. Pots were no longer to be found: they were destroyed at "
casse-pots"(pot-breakers) a local festival held during the period which followed the potters' demise.

In 1940, an engineer from Sèvres and an inhabitant of La Poterie, decided to manufacture earthen "
santons"(small religious figurines) which were painted or glazed. Unfortunately, due to economic juncture at the time, the "santons" weren't sold. This enterprise was abandoned
In the marsh-lands of La Poterie (since transformed into a biotope) the excavations, where potters found their clay, can still be seen today. They didn't extract the clay themselves. For this, they employed labourers who also cut-down the heather, gorse and wood.

For the past 12 years, at Pentecost, a potters' fair is being organised at La Poterie.

Opposite, in the same room, you will find :

Display boards on the activities of the tanners
as well as weaving and spinning.

And the portraits of two local celebrities :

Docteur Antoine-Joseph Jobert.

was born in Matignon (Côtes d'Armor) in 1789, member of the Frenche "Academy of medicine" (1840). He was the surgeon of the emperor Napoléon III.

The Princess of Lamballe

born Marie-Thérèse de Savoie Carignan, has been a close friend of Queen Marie-Antoinette. During the French Revolution, on the 3rd of September 1792, after a farcical trial, she was murdered by rioters.

On the left : a collection of costumes

Shawls, richly decorated aprons, coiffes (headdress) from the Gallo, Trégor and Bigouden regions, which were worn by our great-grandmothers. A display-board tells you about the "coiffes" of the region. Old photos, drawings and painted- portraits illustrate the beauty of the local costumes.

A "hurdy-gurdy players", a work by the sculptor Le Guluche, informs us on the male costume.

A large 15th century fireplace, remnant of a house which was demolished in the Croix aux Fèves Square, has been rebuilt in this vast room.

Two stained-glass windows, photographs of the school, a model of an Ursuline cell and Ursuline habit, all go to show the presence of the Ursuline order in the part of Lamballe known as "St. Martin" (1637-1908). Collège Gustave Téry (junior high-school) has been built on this very spot.

Sacerdotal clothes belonging to Mgr. Maupied, doctor of science, eminent professor at the Sorbonne. He was born in La Poterie in 1814 and was rector at St. Martin's church for 20 years. These items of clothing remind us of the ancient pre-vatican II rites.

On the wall, on the right:

Watercolours and other paintings evoke the talent of our local artists, and represent the maritime facet of Penthièvre: small fishing-harbours, the customs-officers' pathways, the Pardons (religious festivals) of the fishermen who fished off Newfoundland, and other coastal activities.

At the centre: a model made by members of the "Friends of Lamballe and Penthièvre" association, representing Lamballe around 1417, after the Breton War of Succession which opposed two pretenders to the throne. They were Charles de Blois, husband of Jeanne de Penthièvre who was the niece of the deceased Jean III, duke of Brittany, and Jean de Monfort, his  step-brother. Charles de   Blois was killed in Auray in 1364.

The defeated Penthièvre family thought only of revenge. Marguerite de Clisson wife of Jean de Blois, invited the duke to Champtoceaux in 1420, with a view to reconciliation, and put him in prison. Jean V's revenge was terrible. He ordered the destruction of the castle of Lamballe and its fortifications. At the time, this was "the most important castle between Rennes and the sea". The town was surrounded by walls so high that "to try breaching them with ladders would have been an insult." After two attempts, the castle was totally destroyed after the "war of the Leagues" (la guerre des Ligues) in 1626, because it's former lord, César de Vendôme, who was LouisXIII's step-brother, rebelled against royal authority. It was Richelieu who finally had the whole edifice destroyed. All that remains of the medieval fortress is the chapel, the collegiate church of Our Lady (la collégiale Notre Dame).
Throughout the visit, you will have observed different objects(a spinning-wheel, a card and coiffe irons). They remind us of the various activities of the past, which were directly linked to our customs and local industry.