CAPOTS ou CAGOTS* DISTRICT
Capots or cagots were the descendants of lepers who from the Middle Ages until the 18th century were not allowed to mix with the rest of the population. Plaisance, as many villages in Gascony, had its « quartiers des capots ».
Capots (cagots or crestias) had to live outside the village or town in a designated area called 'cagoterie ». Then they could marry among capots only, usually from a different village. Most trades were forbidden to them. However they worked as joiners, carpenters or cask makers since wood was regarded as safe from transmitting leprosy.
In Plaisance, the capots could get to the churches of the town along a specific route, « the lepers' path », along the river, downstream from the present bridge.
They were segregated against in death as well as in life : they were buried away from the villagers, « at the far end of Sainte Quitterie churchyard », where Gezites* were buried.
Where the Cassagnac canal runs today was a stream, the Péjous, and the bridge over the Péjous used to be called « le pont des capots », the capots' bridge.
To the north of this area you will admire the fine « chartreuse *» which J Magenc, Justice of the Peace in Plaisance at the time of the Directoire ( end of the 18th century) had built. (not open to the public)
• Armagnac= the name of a part of Gascony
• capots= cagots= cresoias= descendants of lepers
• Gezites= another name for capots
• chartreuse= in the South West of France it is a long and one storey country house.