Skip to content
ArabicChinese (Simplified)DutchEnglishFrenchGermanGreekHindiItalianJapanesePortugueseRussianSpanish

Brittany

Lehon, small town of character

This page was updated on: Saturday, November 2, 2019 at: 6:22 pm

Lehon, a strategic location

Lehon developed in the 9th century around the Benedictine Abbey of St. Magloire, on the banks of the small river Rance.

It spread at the foot of a promontory where the lords of Dinan built a castle in 1034.

Lehon fortress defended the abbey and commanded the ford where the old Roman road crossed the river.

This major trading route connected Corseul (the capital of the Gallic tribe Coriosolites) to Rennes (the capital of the Redones).

An abbey and its village

In 850 Benedictine monks, the custodians of the relics of Saint Magloire (one of the evangelisers of Brittany), founded their monastery in a meande (easily defendable), along the Roman road and by the ford.

Legend has it that as they searched for the perfect place, trees and bushes that grew by the ford started to bloom.

This phenomenon is known as Eté de Saint-Martin (Indian summer), a period of mild weather that can occur in the early days of November.

It was named after St-Martin, the patron saint of France, who is celebrated on November 11th.

The same climatic phenomenon indeed took place when the body of St. Martin, who died in Saumur in November 397AD, was brought back by boat to the city of Tours.

The Benedictine monks therefore saw this unusual event as a good omen.

Placed under the patronage of its founder, King Nominoë, then the lords of Dinan, the abbey indeed became one of the most prestigious in Brittany and a major spiritual centre until the French Revolution.

Lehon village hall
Medieval building

Lehon, an affluent market town

The relics of Saint Magloire attracted pilgrims throughout the Middle-Ages, bringing wealth to the abbey and prosperity to the town.

Lehon was an active and affluent market town from the start.

The monks indeed developed a thriving cottage industry, while craftsmen settled by the trading road and the river, a major navigable route with direct access to the sea.

The bridge, Le Vieux Pont, was built in the late 15th century to replace the ford and increase trade.

A towpath was opened along the Rance River to transport goods towards Dinard and Saint-Malo in the estuary, from where they were shipped to other French and English ports.

Amazingly, Lehon kept thriving after the French Revolution when the abbey was closed and partly dismantled.

However, the opening of the viaduct of Lanvallay-Dinan in 1852, and thus the deviation of road traffic, led to its decline.

That said, countless traces of its past affluence can still be seen in the embellished facades of its houses.

Many indeed boast a wealth of medieval architectural features such as moulded cornices, carved lintels, picturesque porches and doors.

Village houses
Village house

Lehon, petite cité de caractère

Lehon’s rich architectural heritage earned it the label of ‘small city of character’ in 2003.

This label rewards municipalities that not only restore their heritage, but also promote it with quality tourist infrastructures.

Pedestrian circuits indeed lead to the discovery of its impressive heritage along the picturesque cobblestone lanes and the old towpath.

N.B. Lehon is located in the outskirts of Dinan. You can get there on foot from the port of Lanvallay-Dinan by following the old towpath and enjoy the bucolic scenery.

Department of Côtes d'Armor
Coordinates: Lat 48.441372 - Long -2.040544

Old bridge spanning the river Rance
Coat of arms
Lehon village hall

Lehon, a small town of character

Brittany Lehon, small town of character Lehon, a strategic location Lehon developed in the 9th century around the Benedictine Abbey of St. Magloire, on the banks of the small river Rance. It spread at the foot of a promontory where the lords of Dinan built a castle in 1034. Lehon fortress defended the abbey and…
Kerascoet thatched cottages in Nevez

Nevez, from Anse de Poulguin to Port Manech

Nevez, a picturesque rural district located by the mouth of the Aven, boasts many tourist spots such as Kerascoet village, Hénan tide mill and Port Manech
Early morning in Pont-Aven

Pont-Aven, Gauguin and La Cité des Artistes

Pont-Aven, a small seaport nestled in the Aven estuary and worldwide known for the School of Pont-Aven, an artistic group founded by the painter Gauguin
La Pointe du Grouin - Ile des Landes, Chenal de la Vieille Rivière and lighthouse

Pointe du Grouin, a rocky spur south of the Baie du Mont Saint-Michel

La Pointe du Grouin, a rocky spur and protected natural site on the Emerald Coast in Brittany, marks the south boundary of the Baie du Mont Saint-Michel

Sign up to our newsletter

Travel France Online will use the information you provide on this form to keep in touch with you and to provide updates via our newsletter. By selecting the boxes on the form you confirm your acceptance to receive our newsletter.

You can change your mind at any time by clicking the unsubscribe link in the footer of any email you receive from us, or by contacting us at admin@travelfranceonline.com

We will treat your information with respect. For more information please visit our privacy policy page