My glass workshop or atelier is based in a 14th century manor house in the heart of the Breton countryside. A state-recognised site of historic interest, it has a fascinating history and the original owners, the Rouxels, an ancient crest of arms.
The manoir has a tower with an original circular staircase in wood which was used to access all the rooms on the 1st and 2nd floors. There are a number of grand fireplaces, the most significant of which is ornately carved in stone with the Rouxel family crest at its centre. One of the original decorative windows from the manoir can be found on the facade of a house three miles away in the village of Guilliers.
The manoir originally had a chapel in the grounds (now destroyed) where members of the Rouxel family were married. People in the village have suggested that the chapel was dedicated to Saint Hubert, the Saint of Hunting. However this is disputed and others including a Welsh Saint, Saint Cadoc who established churches in Cornwall and Brittany has been mentioned as a possible due to the close link to the place name Leucadeuc.
When it was bought in 2003, the manoir was derelict and its primary occupants, owls, bats, bees and birds. For some time the manoir’s main function was as a store for the neighbouring farm. The tractors, grain, maize and unrecognisable farm paraphernalia that filled every vast room were testament to this history. But now it was crumbling. One of the giant chimneys had fallen leaving a vast hole in the roof and the garden was a combination of potato field and bramble.
More than 10 years later, the work continues. The garden is a productive polycultural space where leeks, potatoes, roses and raspberries grow comfortably side by side. The East Wing of the manoir is complete and available for holidays via Trip Adviser and Owners Direct. The West Wing – the old cow shed – is my workshop.
We’re currently working on the middle bit.
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