Le Conquet, just up the coast from Pointe St Mathieu, and once a very prosperous town, is today a small fishing village on the Aber of Conq. It has a long history, often raided because of its position, and raised to the ground by the same Anglo-Dutch force which flattened the town outside the Abbaye de St Mathieu in 1558. Afterwards the town, like Plougonvelin, did not really recover its prosperity and importance, although today it is a busy fishing port and also a ferry port for Ouessant (Ushant).
The impressive Maison des Seigneurs of 1510 (on the right, below) was built by the Poncelin family, an indication of the wealth made possible by trade in the Middle Ages. The slipway is evidence of a port.
We crossed the Aber on the footbridge to walk round the Kermorvan Peninsula.
The Kermorvan Peninsula looks out over the Atlantic Ocean and guards the entry into the harbour at Brest. Vauban was commissioned in the 17C to protect Brest with a system of coastal defences and one was on the Îlette de Kermovan. During WWII the area was again heavily fortified by the Germans as part of the Atlantic Wall along the west coast of France, and Le Conquet was the northern point of the defence of Brest.
There are more defences on the Peninsula but we just followed the path in an anti-clockwise direction; the French people were walking clockwise – well, they drive on the right… The beach of white sand ahead of us was beautiful as we rounded a corner, and was a definite advantage of going left!
Bunkers on the Kermorvan Peninsula, & a description of the route we followed
Old photographs of Le Conquet
Paper about Le Conquet
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