The history of Kerouzéré

Recumbent statue of Eon de Kerouzere

Kerouzéré family

Jehan II was the son of Eon de Kerouzéré, an influential man and early supporter of the Montfort claim during the Wars of Succession in Brittany. Following in his father’s footsteps, Jehan remained loyal to the Duke of Brittany, who granted him permission to build Château de Kerouzéré during the 15th century, despite strong opposition from the powerful local lord of Kermavan.

After Jehan II de Kerouzéré, the family continued to rise and increase its wealth, thanks to important positions in the Duke of Brittany’s entourage and advantageous marriages.

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Architecture

Originally, Château de Kerouzéré featured 4 large corner towers, a moat on 3 sides along with a fortified, walled private courtyard on the other (south facing) side.
The main alterations to the château’s architecture since its construction are :

In the 17th century (following the siege) :
– Replacing the Southwest Tower with a buttress
– Complete re-roofing

In the 19th century (after the Château was taken over by M. du Rusquec) :
– Filling the moat
– Construction of a slate roof on the northwest tower

Plan-origine-Kerouzere

In addition to its massive yet harmonious silhouette, a visit to the Château de Kerouzéré will allow you to admire a number of 15th-century architectural feats that are still intact 600 years later:

The spiral staircase

Staircase - landing
Surprisingly wide for a fortified castle, with each step made from a single block of granite, this decorated staircase is a masterpiece crafted by master stonemasons from top-quality granite in an excellent state of preservation.

The framework

Charpente-kerouzere
Shaped like the hull of an upside-down boat, with a long span and an appearance of lightness, the framework visible from the guardroom floor is a technical feat achieved in oak in the 17th century.
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The siege of Kerouzéré

One of the reasons Château de Kerouzéré has retained its original medieval character through the centuries is that it has only been attacked once since it was built.

During the Wars of Religion, Kerouzéré castle was besieged by Catholic League troops, and the lord of Kerouzéré (Pierre de Boiséon) finally surrendered in 1591 when a cannon damaged the castle.

In 1594, Henri IV was crowned in Chartres. He had Pierre de Boiséon released and compensated to restore the damaged parts of Château de Kerouzéré. Pierre was also granted the collar of the Order of Saint-Michel, a representation of which can still be seen in the château’s noble hall.

Pierre de Boiséon used the money to build the buttress that now replaces the south-west tower, and to rebuild the roof structure damaged by the siege.

Fireplace-seat
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Current owners

Château de Kerouzéré was last sold in 1821, when Jean-Baptiste du Beaudiez bought the château from General Hippolyte de Piré.

The château then passed through successive inheritances and marriages to the du Rusquec and Kerdrel families. In 1912, Agnès de Kerdrel (Kerouzéré heiress) married Joseph de Calan. They had a son, Olivier, in 1914. Agnès died in childbirth, while Joseph was killed in action in WW1 in 1916.

Olivier de Calan was orphaned and became owner of Château de Kerouzéré at the age of 2. He was taken in by his paternal grandmother, who raised him between Paris and South Finistère.

Château de Kerouzéré was thus abandoned and left in a state of disrepair until 1943, when Olivier and his young wife Aliette moved to Kerouzéré.

They had 7 children and undertook renovation work to the minimum comfort standards of the time (installation of running water, electricity and gas heating in certain rooms in the west wing). They opened the Château to visitors and enjoined several other Breton owners to do the same with their private residences.

Their eldest son, Bruno de Calan, inherited the Château in 1987 with his wife Christine Clappier. They restored the entire roof of the château (in 5 phases), followed by the window frames. Bruno de Calan died in 2012 at the age of 67, and his wife Christine in 2024 at the age of 71.

They had 3 children. To keep the Château in the family, the two eldest children (Olivier and Sophie) donated it to the youngest, Guénolé.

In 2024, Guénolé left his job in Paris and moved to Kerouzéré with his wife Jennifer Seixas to devote himself fully to the preservation of the Château, through the development of activities within it (tours, events, weddings, birthdays, seminars, etc.).

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