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A lighthouse at castle of Roche Goyon, castle La Latte ?

The Lighthouse Project on the Archer's Tower of Château de la Roche Goyon in 1882


Castle of the Roche Goyon, located in the magnificent bay of St. Malo in Brittany, is an architectural marvel that bears witness to the rich history of this region. This medieval fortress, perched on a cliff overlooking the sea, has a fascinating history that spans centuries. Among its many captivating stories, one of the most intriguing is the construction project of a lighthouse on the Archer's Tower, formerly known as the Sergeant's Tower, in 1882.


Illustration du projet d'un phare sur la tour des archers

The Lighthouse Project at Château de la Roche-Goyon (Plévenon Cap Fréhel) - Lighthouse project in 1882 at Château de la Roche Goyon: view of the south elevation / © Château de la Roche Goyon © Andrews Masbath

Projet d'un phare sur la tour des archers

Castle of the Roche Goyon, also known as castle La Latte (Plévenon) - Lighthouse project in 1882 at Fort La Latte: elevation of the main façade (AD 22)

Auteur(s)Prigent Guy (reproduction)

Guillemoto Copyrights(c) Inventaire général, ADAGP


The Archer's Tower, Guardian of History


The Archer's Tower, an iconic element of the Castle of the Roche Goyon, was once known as the Sergeant's Tower due to its use as a guard post. It stands proudly to the east of the ramparts, offering a spectacular panoramic view of the sea and the surrounding coast. It is within this tower that the bold project of building a lighthouse was considered in the 19th century.


Plan du projet pour le phare sur la tour des archers

Castle of the Roche Goyon, also known as castle la Latte (Plévenon Cap Fréhel) - Lighthouse project in 1882 at castle la Latte: elevation on the Sergeant's turret (AD 22).


In the year 1881: The lighthouse installed.

In the year 1882: The lighthouse project envisaged.


le phare de Port nieux en baie de la Fresnaye à Plévenon

During this period, the traffic of cider apples from Port-Nieux to the western part of the department, totaling 2000 tons per year, justified the presence of this beacon, and it was in this context that the idea of building a lighthouse on the archer's tower emerged.


So, in 1881, a first drum mast light was established at Pointe du Muret (Port Nieux) in the heart of the Baie de la Fresnaye. It was lit during the night two and a half hours before and one and a half hours after high tide, totaling 4 hours of lighting each night. In 1888, this light was moved to the end of the Port-Nieux jetty, where it burned all night from 1892, with the presence of a dedicated keeper.




The Last Light of Port-Nieux


During that time, a similar project was considered for a fourth-order light at the Castle of the Roche Goyon, including living quarters, following the model used for the Paon and Rosédo lighthouses on the de Bréhat.

However, in 1932, there were calls to discontinue the Port-Nieux lighthouse due to the lack of traffic in the port, whether for fishing or coastal shipping. Despite this, the local nautical commission strongly opposed this decision, arguing that Port-Nieux should remain a sheltered port. Therefore, the light continued to shine until 1933, when it was suspended.



Le phare de Port nieux en baie de la Fresnaye à Plévenon

The Port Nieux lighthouse (Plévenon Cap Fréhel) - at the exhibition "Étonnants clichés du pays au début du XXe siècle" by Michel Ménard and presented by Jean Yves Chatellier.


The Luminous Legacy of Port-Nieux


On January 1, 1940, in the State of Coastal Lighting in France, the Port-Nieux light was still listed as active, even though it had not illuminated the coast for several years. The history of Port-Nieux and its luminous beacon is a testament to the importance of maritime safety in this region, just as the aborted project of a lighthouse on the archers' tower of the Château de la Roche Goyon reminds us of the ingenuity of the time and the commitment to preserving the historical heritage of Brittany.


A Luminous Project


The project aimed to convert the medieval tower into a modern and functional lighthouse. The elevated location of the archers' tower was ideal to serve as a bright landmark for nighttime navigators, and its strategic position by the sea made it a logical choice. The plans included installing a powerful lamp at the top of the tower, which would emit light signals visible for kilometers around.

Projet de phare au château de la Roche Goyon

Castle fo the Roche Goyon - Castle La Latte (Plévenon Cap Fréhel) - Lighthouse Project in 1882 at castle La Latte

Projet de phare au château de la Roche Goyon




















The Lighthouse That Never Came to Be


Despite its plans, the lighthouse project on the Archer's Tower of Castle of the Roche Goyon never came to fruition. The Archer's Tower has ultimately retained its historical character and was not altered to accommodate a modern lighthouse.





































Castle of the Roche Goyon, also known as castle la Latte, in Plévenon Cap Fréhel-

Lighthouse Project in 1882 at castle La Latte: Elevation of the main façade (AD 22)

Author(s): Guy Prigent (reproduction)

Copyrights: Inventaire général, ADAGP


The Archers' Tower Today


Today, the Archers' Tower of the Castle of the Roche Goyon remains a symbol of the region's rich history. It attracts visitors from around the world, captivated by its medieval architecture and the breathtaking views it offers of the sea. Although it was not transformed into a lighthouse, it continues to shine as a silent guardian of Breton history.

The Archers' Tower ©Château de la Roche Goyon

The project to build a lighthouse on the Archers' Tower of the Castle of the Roche Goyon in 1882 is a fascinating reminder of the ingenuity of the time and the challenges that visionaries faced. Although this idea was not realized, it remains a testament to the importance of maritime safety and the commitment to preserving the historical heritage of this exceptional region of France. The Archers' Tower remains an invaluable treasure that continues to illuminate the history of Brittany.

The Archers' Tower during the restoration work 1931-1939 ©Château de la Roche Goyon

The Archers' Tower from Port Taillé Beach ©Château de la Roche Goyon

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