Guided tour of the historic village of Lay. Discovery of the rampart walk, alleys and old houses, the Place des Halles ... The historical part deals with the Roman, medieval and revolutionary periods up to the present day.


Guided tours

All year, every day.
By reservation for groups.

As you walk through the village, you can admire:

- Tour de Prébende, or Bayette, that is to say Tour de Guet, known as Tour de Beurre (Place des Halles, with pedestrian crossing, known as Trou de Beurre, communicating with Chemin de Ronde).

- Sepulchral chapels of the Berchoux family (at the chemin de Ronde cemetery)
Mausoleum of a large family of magistrates. In 1656, Jean de Berchoux was lieutenant of justice in Lay. François-Marie de Berchoux, is in 1761, judge of Lay. His son Claude is also a provost judge in the châtellenie of Lay but also a civil and criminal judge of the courts of Fourneaux, Croizet and Rochefort in Amplepuis. Claude de Berchoux is the father of Joseph de Berchoux, famous for his treatise on Gastronomy.

- Sepulchral chapels of the Desvernay family (at the chemin de Ronde cemetery)
Pierre-François Desvernay, manufacturer of Guineas in Saint-Symphorien-de-Lay, becomes advisor to the King and rapporteur for the point of honor for the province of Beaujolais.
He attended the assembly of Villefranche, in 1789, as lord of Montgalland and in the nome of Madame de Reveton, lady of Verpillère. He becomes president of the General Council of the Loire.
His descendants played an important part in the expansion of the economy and the preservation of the local heritage.

- Ramparts route
Chemin de Ronde, with a view of the Ecoron viaduct - at the Point du Jour crossroads, continue along Les Terreaux to the Place du Monument. We can make out the old gates, in particular that of Forez, rue de la Chapelle, and of Lyon, at Point du Jour.
In 1173, Forez and Beaujolais separated, and their often disputed limits passed through our canton. At a time when the country was criss-crossed by bands of looters and brigands, the first lords of Lay, whose mission was to defend their peasants, built fortified houses. Thus will be born, the fortified house of Lay which will be destroyed in the XNUMXth century by a troop from the abbey of Savigny with which Aymon de Lay had had a major disagreement, then burned and pounded by the Rovers of Gérard de Pomers during the War. of Hundred Years, it was surrounded by fortifications with in particular the tower of Bayette and its doors of Lyon, of Forez.
The construction of its ramparts will determine the lords of Beaujeu, to make Lay the seat of a châtellenie whose justice and provost covered the towns of Saint-Symphorien-de-Lay, Neaux and part of the parishes of Boisset, Fourneaux, Saint -Just-la-Pendue, Sainte-Colombre, Saint-Cyr-de-Favières and Chambost-Longessaigne.

- The Halles built by the princes of Orleans, deemed unnecessary, were destroyed in the 1870s (see those of Chamelet department of Rhône), identical).

View from the outside only (private properties):

- House with galleries known as “du Tanneur”.

- Manoir de Lay, in La Forest - XNUMXth century fortified house, former stronghold -
The manor of Lay, cited in 1324 and established at the exit of Lay, contributed to its defense against incursions, even before the city was enclosed by walls.
It was inhabited by Gaspard du Terrail (1481-1555) at the time of the knight Bayard, his cousin, alias Pierre du Terrail (1473-1524), a knight without fear and without reproach.
The manor house housed two centuries later, the administrative and financial heart of the châtellenie, which managed most of the fiefdoms in the area.
Under Louis XIV, the Lord of the Forest managed the affairs of the monks of the abbey of Savigny.

- Fortified house of Pesselay from the XNUMXth century - former stronghold -
It is a feudal residence of the XVth century, almost intact, truly remarkable with its high round tower and its majestic facade.
The first known written trace of this manor dates back to September 28, 1400, which quotes Pierre de Thélis, Lord of Peyseley ”.
A tile works in Pessalay which was used to cover the floors of the floors of the castle with tiles and which benefited from its production of tiles, bricks, tiles, the neighboring hamlets of Combes, Villachon and Lay.
For a large number of years, the Château de Pesselay has become a farmhouse with the appearance of a fortress. The old building has kept the imposing and medieval appearance it had in the time of the lords.

Château de la Verpillière - former stronghold - rebuilt in 1860.
The Château de la Verpillère is today a beautiful and vast residence, but it was not the same in the Middle Ages, when this name was carried by a stronghold without the right of justice. One of the first quotes from the place dates from 1333.

In the XNUMXth century, La Vulpilière (original name of La Verpillère) was also a fortified house protecting the heart of the Beaujeu castellany towards Lyon.
It was only around the first quarter of the XNUMXth century that La Verpillère became a fiefdom proper, with all rights of justice, high, medium and low.


  • Average duration of the individual visit: 90 min
  • Groups of 5 to 50 people welcome.


  • Groups welcome

Visit languages

  • French

Individual visit services

  • Unguided individual tours permanently

Group visits services

  • Unguided group tours permanently
  • Guided group tours on request


From January 01 to December 31, 2024
Monday Open
Tuesday Open
Wednesday Open
Thursday Open
Friday Open
Saturday Open
Sunday Open

By reservation for groups



Group rate from 5 people.



  • Parking
  • Coach parking


  • Pet Friendly
  • Free visits
  • Guided tours