Paloma our motorhome is making use of the free aire in the amazing little Brittany village of Grand-Fougeray. (N 47.722380 W 1.729800).
Firstly I have a confession to make, sorry folks but we have been fibbing a little over the last week as to where we are, you are reading this and in reality we have already been on a boat, sailing over the channel. I never thought that it would be so difficult to pull off a surprise Christmas visit, especially given that we were a thousand miles away or so !
But once we decided that we should do an about turn, Michele decided it would be a nice thing to have a family Christmas……
Not sure if I would have rather had a BBQ on the beach, but hey there’s always next year.
So what brought us here ?
Grand-Fougeray Castle, locally known as Château de Grand-Fougeray or Tour Duguesclin, lies east of the town of Grand-Fougeray.
An earlier fortification at this site was built in 1189 by Olivier II Tournemire. The present castle was built at the end of the 13th century, probably by Jean de Rieux, Marshal of France.
At that time it was a formidable fortress equipped with 9 towers and a keep. The 30-meter high tower we see today served as the keep of that castle. Grand-Fougeray Castle served to protect the seigniory of Fougeray but was also part of a string of castles protecting the Duchy of Brittany.
During the Breton War of Succession, Grand-Fougeray Castle was captured by English forces.
Then in 1354 the castle was taken back by Bertrand du Guesclin, a Breton knight who would later become Constable of France, by a ruse of war.
He and some of his men had disguised as lumberjacks (monty python sketch now in head) who were bringing a supply of fire wood to the castle to persuade the occupants to open the gates.
In 1598, at the end of the French Wars of Religion, Grand-Fougeray Castle was dismantled at the request of the states of Brittany who wanted the demolition of several strongholds in the area in order to promote civil peace.
In 1750 the remains were destroyed by the new owners, the Locquet de Granville family, merchants, with exception of the keep.
At present the tower is incorporated into the towns park.
The small town itself, it as pretty a peach and well worth a wonder
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