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St-Denoual - Origins
Origin of the name: there are various interpretations: one is from the Breton den (man) and wal (gaulish); another is that it could come from the Breton Saint Domnual. The parish of St-Denoual was part of the old parish of Hénan, which at the end of the 12th Century was split between Hénansal and Hénanbihen. The lords of St-Denoual were based in the hamlet of Le Châtel. By the beginning of the 20th Century, the only remains of the family castle, which was occupied from 1210 to the 14th Century, are some traces of a moat and a feudal motte. The fi rst local council was elected in 1790. A stream, the Guinguenoual, a tributary of the Frémur, flows through Ruca and Hénanbihen, then through St-Denoual.
St-Denoual - Heritage
Near St. Etienne’s Church, the 15th Century cemetery cross is charming, with its grooved shaft resting on a stone slab and moulded dado with a small cross engraved at the centre.
You can take a relaxing stroll through the St-Denoual woods and continue your walk by going to see the 16th Century Château de La Guyomarais (private property) which became famous with the tragic memory of the Marquis de La Rouërie. On his grave is an engraved plaque saying “Marquis de La Rouërie, 30 January 1793, the evil which killed him was his faithfulness”. A stele was erected in the 20th Century by the United States Embassy in memory of the role played by him in the American War of Independence. An inscription reads: “Armand Tuffin, Marquis de La Rouërie, hero of the United States of America War of Independence, defender of Breton liberties and founder of the Association Bretonne. He was born on 13 April 1751 at Fougères and died tragically on 30 January 1793 at La Guyomarais” .
The 15th Century calvary of La Guyomarais, not far from the château on the D68, is very impressive. Called,
the “Chapel Cross”, in memory of the building which used to be across the road, it has a pedestal with 3 steps, an octagonal shaft, and under its roof on one side is a Christ fi gure with crossed legs, and next to him the Virgin and a holy woman. On the other side is the Virgin with the Christ child. The date 1440 used to be visible on the base.
• Area: 860 hectares
• Population: 423 Guinguenoualais
After visiting Saint-Denoual, you shouldn’t miss continuing to the Hunaudaye forest and visiting the ruins of its feudal castle and the farm museum at Plédéliac.