"The facade of a house belongs to the one who looks" Chinese Proverbs

The Mansion - Les Grands Prés

A house full of five centuries of history

Le Manoir des Grands Prés was built in the XVth century. It was modified during the seventeenth and eighteenth century. The Mansion, surrounded by a moat, also has a garden of more than one hectare. The ideal place to relax, in calm, accompanied by birds. A character house, ideal for lovers of old stones and heritage. You will find the Manoir des Grands Prés, a haven of peace both in the countryside and near the sea.

A former occupation

During the construction of the local hospital , preventive excavations in the immediate environment of the Great Meadows Manor enabled to get a better idea of human occupation of the site. Around the house, the first traces back to the ancient Neolithic ( 6000-4500 BC). This is especially the Gallo Roman era that economic activity appears to be developing in the north of the property, the wetland Meadows Bosgers . An enclosure surrounded by ditches , a well and often revised excavations could correspond to a water- related activity ( retting flax or hemp ? ) The presence of a large building , probably a residential, suggests that we are not in front of a seasonal occupation. Activity on the site will continue sporadically until the High Middle Ages ( the V in the 10th century ) before dying.

Le Grand Prez and Les Grands Prés

It is difficult to know when was built the first mansion Grands Prés . It could be that either the late Middle Ages, when the abandonment of artisanal function Bosgers Pres . This is probably a major area that joins the north the village of Saint -Jouan and south the path even Cancale in Saint -Coulomb The only information we have is much later , it is the name owners this area the Corgne , in the early 16th century.

Charles Le Chauff , knight, squire stable , Vannes captain and Chamberlain of the Duke of Britain in 1425. In June 1428 the ardent servant is honored by the Duke Jean de Bretagne " exempts farms, houses and legacies belonging to said Charles the Chauff , father of William said, and farmers, all fouages ​​, subsidies, sizes and other subsidies for services rendered by the said Charles Le Chauff his trusty and well beloved knight and chamberlain . "


D'argent au pigeon d'azur membré et bèqueté de gueules

et en chef deux croissants adossés de gueules


It gives him the benefit of the manor of La Motte in Saint-Coulomb and combines its name to the land he owns. Thus, at the reformation of the nobility in 1513 there is a Jehan Chauff The Lord of the Chauff Motte and the City Bréhaut. Over generations, heritage grows; possessions now extend in Cancale areas of the Valley, the Grand Prez Quatrevais and fall into their laps. The family has a prohibitive Chauff chapel, called God of Mercy, in the church of Cancale which stained the coat of arms; they are also carved on one of the pillars of the nave and a wooden bench.

Paul Banéat in his work on the department of Ille et Vilaine (1927) says that we find the two Grands Prés badges stamped with a helmet mantled with the date of 1541. This item has disappeared. It may be possible to use this information to associate the crest of a squire The Chauff with that of his wife, also after noble roots. Unfortunately, it has not identified the arms, they were probably indecipherable. The date could mark a reconstruction of the original mansion.

About the same time, a certain Jean Lesur built the chapel of St. John in the village of Saint-Jouan des Grands Prés. She does not seem to be part of the domain. It should be noted that if the house belongs to the Chauff, they do not live on site. God's Mercy chapel of the parish church hosts during their brief stays in Cancale.

During the 17th century, part of the manors owned by The Chauff Porée goes to the family, which seems to settle in Cancale. Indeed, we find in the parish registers several acts concerning them: the marriage of Estienne Porée Sieur de Valle Giulia with Mace Maiden Grands Prés in 1687. It is the wife who holds the title of Maiden without Grands Prés probably acquired by distant legacy of the Heat. Also found in the archives death: nobleman François Porée in 1674, Agnes Porée Maiden "Quatrevas" in 1686, Sieur Estienne Porée of the Valley in 1695, Damsels Porée Marie (19 years) in 1713, Etienne Porée Sieur de Death Valley to the Great Meadows in 1729, Jean Baptiste Porée (priest) Sieur de la Vallée in 1743. This seems to be the last of this line in Cancale.

A very interesting document, preserved in the parish archives, provides additional information. This is the minutes of visiting the church of Cancale in 1719, at the time when the building critical condition raises the question of reconstruction. Julienne Mace, Stephen Porée Sieur widow of the Valley and owner of the house Grands Prés, appears to defend his rights. It has a tombstone near the choir, a private chapel, a bench and coat of arms engraved on one of the pillars that are "A quartered in the first and fourth GUEULLE has two chief macces silver and a silver shell Mesme the second and third sand five billets money, put two in chief, one and two. " This is the coat of Saint Wax (sometimes St. Syre) his ancestors. Furthermore it requests that are retained those of the Chauff (in God Chapel of Mercy) formerly owners of Grands Prés "of money to overcome azure pigeon backed two crescents gules"

This story is even stronger than the son of Giulia Mace is on trial with the rector of the parish. Indeed, Sieur de la Vallée accuses the church of embezzlement.

The roles of fouages ​​and capitation tell us about the house staff engaged in property: in 1722 there are two maids and a valet. In 1742 there is only a servant to Jean Baptiste Porée priest. At his death (1743) is not found successors have left a trace; the property is not mentioned before 1789 where the role of extraordinary fouages ​​shows Frédéric Magon de Coëtizac as owner. He was just twenty years old and not yet know that the revolutionary turmoil will change his life. His mother, Anne Hélène Gardin Demoiselle of Villeaumont and his brother were guillotined in Paris as several members of the Magon family. The grandmother of Frederick was a Porée and it may not be what he inherited through the Great Meadows but to date we do not have the evidence.

A young Cancalaise born to Small Cross regularly frequent the premises. No doubt then that Jeanne JOUQUAN is moving towards an extraordinary destiny. Two hundred years later the Congregation of the Little Sisters of the Poor is present in the world.

The Mansion

Part of the building was used for agricultural purposes; it's probably a sharecropper that exploits pieces of land around and has a living space within the farm that was designed to withstand a possible assault. We took advantage of the presence of a small stream to dig deep and wide moat around the house leaving only a narrow passage into the yard. There can be no doubt that since the 16th century many changes have been incurred. The Terrier Châteauneuf imposing register listing the Marquis of possessions in the region so the fees payable by the owners to their overlord, reports the mansion Grands Prés then occupied by Jean Baptiste Porée:

La maison des Grands Prés ancienne, maison neuve au joignant, pavillon sur le portail, fuye, étable, fournil, pressoir, grande cour, le grand jardin joignant la maison neuve, deux petits jardins derrière l’ancienne maison le tout entouré de douves

  • Une chesnaye derrière les dites maisons et jardins
  • Le verger devant les maisons et autre petit jardin près du pavillon
  • Les Grandes Jannais
  • Le Grans Clos
  • Le Clos de dessus la janaie
  • La Pré ou Clos au Puy
  • Le champ de la Motte

Un pilier de l’église de Cancalle armorié des armes des seigneurs des Grands Prés et l’écusson de même dans la vitre de la chapelle du Rosaire.

The same description is made for the mansion Quatrevais.

An accurate map of Cancale in 1760 unveils details of ownership of Grands Prés. Two tree-lined paths converge on a single access path. The pavilion to the left of the entrance in the courtyard and the barn and the press. Basically, the two main buildings on the portal right, probably the bakery. We distinguish the moat that appear to be surmounted by a wall.

The land registry of 1828, called "Napoleonic" is a bit more specific; the position of the outbuildings is somewhat different. The stream fed by a spring which flows into the moat materialized there. The overflow escapes left and joined the Valley site. In the north, on the back of the main house, we guess a tower that used to house a staircase leading upstairs. The section of state associated with the land registry shows us the extent of the field. All fields around the old mansion are at that time, the property of Mr. Frédéric Magon de Coëtizac, as the area of ​​the City Aumont and fields that surround it.

Over the decades the former stronghold of the Chauff fragmented. The house turned into agricultural establishment suffers the ravages of time and suffers from lack of maintenance. The moats are filled and lose face. Brambles invade any cracks, the roof is not waterproof, its slate fly every storm. If in 1986 the property was not purchased, it would now only a pile of stones.


In 1986, when the situation seems hopeless, Jeannick and Paul Nouri-Guen discover the area and fall in love with the ancient walls. Lovers of old houses and Cancale heritage, they bear purchasers, determined to revive Les Grands Prés. They do not know that they commit to a long road strewn with obstacles, doubts, discouragement. Never left the passion. Over the last thirty years, their investment in this project was total. Stubbornness and bravery are now Les Grands Prés are again a place bathed in serenity.

Aware of being only passage and only responsible for what belongs to succeeding generations, we invite you to pass your turn the doors of time ... For one night, a few days or for a visit.

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Les Grands Prés - Cancale
Les Grands Prés - Cancale
Les Grands Prés Mansion
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