Seven granitoid gneisses from the contact zone between the eastern margin of the Variscan belt and the Brunian microcontinent in SW Poland have been dated by ion-microprobe and 207Pb/206Pb single zircon evaporation methods. The zircons define two age groups for the gneiss protoliths: (1) late Neoproterozoic c. 576–560 Ma and (2) early Palaeozoic c. 488–503 Ma granites. The granitoid gneisses belonging to the basement of the Brunian microcontinent contain abundant Mesoproterozoic to latest Palaeoproterozoic inherited material in the range of 1200–1750 Ma. The gneisses of the Variscan crustal domain lack Mesoproterozoic inherited zircon cores. Trace element geochemistry of Proterozoic gneisses reveals features resembling either volcanic arc or post-collisional granites. The studied rocks are geochemically similar to other Proterozoic orthogneisses derived from the basement of the Brunian microcontinent. Gneisses with early Palaeozoic protolith ages are geochemically comparable to granitoid gneisses widespread in the adjacent Sudetic part of the Bohemian Massif and are considered characteristic of peri-Gondwanan crust. Our data prove the dissimilarity between the Brunia plate and the westerly terranes of the Variscan belt. The occurrence of granitic gneisses with late Neoproterozoic protolith ages and widespread Mesoproterozoic inheritance in our dated samples support an East Avalonian affinity for the Brunian microcontinent. In contrast, the abundance of gneisses derived from an early Palaeozoic granitic protolith and devoid of Mesoproterozoic zircon cores supports the Armorican affinity of the Variscan domain bordering on the Brunia plate from the west. Structural evidence shows that the eastern segment of the Variscan belt is juxtaposed against the Brunian microcontinent along a N–S-trending tectonic contact, possibly equivalent to the Rheic suture.