After being rebuilt, then destroyed again, the Chateau endured… On January 29, 1471, Hélène de Bonenfant married Guillaume de Rosnyvinen and his name remained connected with the Chateau until the 19th century. Their coat of arms featured a boar's head whose colours conveyed the message "I only attack when wounded" and the cry "Defend yourself". The family's deeply chivalrous motto, “Rectitude in everything", can still be seen at the Château. The Rosnyvinens provided Brittany and France with famed fighters, seasoned magistrates and learned scholars. At its most prosperous, the estate included almost 300 manors, farms, smallholdings and mills.
Chapter 1: A 12th century beginning
Château du Plessis-Guériff
In the 12th century, the Château du Plessis-Guériff was a simple feudal motte: a fortified dwelling built on an artificial hill. The dwelling was supported by pointed stakes, called 'plesses' from which part of the name is derived. At the time, it belonged to the Bonenfant family, one of the oldest in the diocese of Rennes. One of the family members, called Lord Guériff, gave the chateau the second part of its name. In 1317, Robin Bonenfant built the first stone castle, which featured four imposing towers. This castle was savagely burnt by the English in 1432, a casualty of the Hundred Years' War.
Chapter 2: Reconstruction and more destruction Prosperity at the Chateau
Chapter 3: Transformation The Chateau in the 18th century
Christophe de Rosnyvinen was a councillor in the Parliament of Brittany who completely transformed the Chateau. He laid the first stone for the elegant new Château Régence in 1722, and had the north-south wing built. He demolished the towers and razed the fortifications, but kept the old chateau, which is now the east-west wing. The inside featured large lounges, reception rooms and richly decorated apartments. The gardens were supposed to be designed in the 17th century under the direction of famous landscape architect André Le Nôtre. But the Revolution was soon underway. Despite the resistance of the Marquis (supposedly quite a character), the Chateau was sold as State property for 16,040 Francs when he died at the venerable age of 84.
Chapter 4: Restoration to the family A new estate
It was not until 1802 that the property was returned to the family in an advanced state of disrepair. It took until 1818 for French Empire General Hippolyte de Rosnyvinen to have it restored. In 1854, the last Marquis de Piré went bankrupt and sold the property to the Vicomte de Nicolay, who then sold it to the Carron de la Carrière family. The latter began work at the Chateau, notably building the water tower and the chapel. In 1932, the estate was sold to the Congrégation des Pères du Saint-Esprit, which turned it into a training center, then a retirement home. This brings our story to the present day where a new chapter is beginning for the Château des Pères.
The next chapter Today's Chateau
The Château des Pères has been meticulously restored by passionate artisans. It embodies craftsmanship and symbolises art, manual labour and transmitting traditions. These are essential values for the Legendre family who brought this place back to life.
Jean-Paul Legendre, former CEO of the Legendre Group, grew up just a stone's throw from the Chateau and bought it as a showcase for manual talent. He draws on his love of art to make this a truly unique place.
It is a timeless space dotted with inspiring artistic works like the enormous gorilla watching over the grounds and the wolf running through the forest. This is a place that fascinates and challenges, a place where the imagination runs wild.
About the Legendre family Shared values
The Château des Pères is foremost a family enterprise managed by Julien Legendre who uses his skill as a developer in this constantly changing field. He fosters the values of tradition, warmth, wellness and innovation, all things he is keen on protecting to ensure this extraordinary place continues to grow.