History of the manor house Le Cosquer
The origin of Le Cosquer (old Breton residence) dates back to the 15th century. This traditional Breton manor house has undergone three major evolutions during its history: first, its construction in 1465; second, its renovation and expansion in the 18th century and finally its conversion into a farmhouse around 1870.
The construction of the manor house dating from 1465 was quite classical and modest. Indeed, only the left part of the main building was built and included two large rooms per floor as well as a corner tower in the northeast, for a floor area of seventy square meters. There was (and still is) a ground floor, a first floor and an attic under the roof.
Le Cosquer belonged to the Kermoysan family whose coat of arms is represented by seven scallops, the coat of arms is surmounted by a count’s crown. It is assumed that the family of the owners participated in the crusades. Kermoysan’s family was not necessarily rich. Indeed, the right of succession did not exist in Brittany at that time; this is how the manor house was built small, without ashlar stones, and probably a thatched roof. Then we lose a little bit of its history until the 18th century.
In the 18th century, the abbot of the La Gréve inherited or acquired the Cosquer manor house and settled there. Although he was the rector of Pommerit, Le Cosquer was not the presbytery of the town. The rector of Pommerit was a very wealthy man, he was, for example, responsible for the construction of the village church. There is still the bell tower, the rest having been restored after a fire. Nevertheless, its coat of arms can be found on the building’s portal. He was also a great litigator, meaning that he erected new buildings every time he lost a procedure to show that he refused to be ruined.
The abbot of La Gréve had the right part of the building built. He thus removed the corner tower and doubled the surface area of the mansion, thus obtaining a perfect symmetry of the Cosquer. It is worth noting that architectural fashion is lagging behind the rest of France, although the restoration took place in the 18th century, it is in the 16th style.
The rector lived in the old part which included on the ground floor, the kitchen and the living room and on the first floor the bedroom and the office. This is why in this part of the manor house we find a wood of excellent quality of noble or bourgeois decoration as well as the Louis XIV staircase still in perfect condition which replaced the corner tower. So that was the residential part. The right part, with thinner walls, was to be used by the servants. It can be noted that at present the left part has remained residential (kitchen, living room and two bedrooms) while the right part serves as a storage area and includes a bathroom. (This layout has now changed.)
In addition, the Abbot left several Latin inscriptions, (three of which were of a religious nature) on three large stones: Jesus 1746; Maria; INCIT (Jesus and Mary lived here). Above the stone lintels of the two main doors are other Latin inscriptions of more secular oral inscriptions: 1746 (date of restoration) and His proprio rector condidit aise dome (Here is the property of the rector built by his own money). Which confirms that the rector is at the origin of the restoration as well as his taste for money.
Finally, it can also be noted that the rector had built a well in the courtyard made of masonry identical to the facade of the manor house (it no longer exists); two beautiful pillars that supported the entrance gate on the alleys are inscribed with illegible Latin inscriptions (the pillars are still present but no longer the gate) and finally a vegetable garden enclosed by the wall (it no longer exists either).
The conversion of the Cosquer manor house into a farm: The Motte Rouge family
We then know that the property belonged to the family of the Motte Rouge, one of the oldest families on the Côtes d’Armor. A street in Pommerit-le-Vicomte is named after the captain of the Motte Rouge. This family and its allies had a prominent role in Pommerit’s history.
Le Cosquer was rented on a farm about 130 years ago to a first family that stayed there for 20 years. It was during this period that the stone outbuildings (the annex, the stables and the garage) were built and the manor took its definitive form. (1872)
It was then returned to the Kersach family with thirty hectares of land, making it one of the largest farms in the municipality. The family of La Motte Rouge and successors (still owners at that time) put the Cosquer up for sale after the retirement of the last tenant of the farm-manor René Kersach in 1994, the date on which the Guétin family moved in.
After three major periods in the history of Le Cosquer, a new transformation appears, that of its reconversion into a manor. In close and fruitful cooperation with Annie and Rene Kersach, whose communicative attachment to Le Cosquer has made us aware of its importance, the Guétin family was striving to restore its values as a beautiful home. In this sense, after a major clean-up, the park was equipped with a pond of less than two thousand square meters and a wooded area, despite the reduction of the land (it still takes about two and a half hectares). Moreover, the Guétin family was able to make the right side of the manor habitable.
In the year 2003 the family Leccarcorvi acquired Le Cosquer and used it as their home as well as a language institute where students stayed while learning the English language.
Before concluding, we can note some anecdotes. First of all, the father of Rene Kersach’s helped the Resistance by organizing the parachuting of weapons into the fields adjacent to the farm, endangering his relatives, while the German troops passed near the parachuting point. Moreover, the Germans were wary of the manor, as it was built in the shape of a trap (with just one road leading to it) and an ideal place for ambushes. Thus, Le Cosquer was one of the few manor houses in the region not to be occupied by the Germans. Finally, we can see it in the first scene of the film “The Seznec Affair” which takes place in the region. Seznec’s house is on the outskirts of Le Trieux.
Concluding, we, Maurice and Claire Wismeyer, fell in love with Le Cosquer and became the proud owners in 2021. We made the annex into our home. The manor house we transformed into a gite that can accommodate groups up to 20 people. In the near future we will transform the barn into a reception hall and the garage into a gite upstairs and a smaller reception hall on the ground floor. In the end our dream is to rent out as one: the manor, the stables and the garage, for all kind of festivities like for example: weddings. Therefore, we are careful to remain in the continuity of the evolution of the Cosquer in order to pay tribute to five centuries of history.