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The Manoir La Ville Durand Prestigious home in Binic-Étables-sûr-mer

A family home Experience both the fresh air of the country and the cool breeze of the sea

A 14th century house in the countryside of Binic-Étables-sur-mer in Côtes d’Armor, the Manoir La Ville Durand offers a peaceful setting a stone’s throw from the coastline of Saint-Brieuc. .

The current owners are renovating the mansion and gardens to create a magical and enchanting place while preserving its history and character. It is the ideal setting for your next family holiday in Brittany, a romantic getaway by the sea, a magical wedding or any other festive event.

The Manoir is also suitable for housing horses with its paddock, stables, and meadows. You can explore the long tree-lined avenue and gardens, eat delicious meals on the outdoor terrace around the long wooden table, or play the piano for an impromptu family concert. It is also a paradise for children as they will love to frolic in the enclosed garden. They will spend hours enjoying the small wooden house and outdoor games such as badminton and croquet.

Who are we? The Meyrat family

The Meyrat family, Manoir La Ville Durand, Bretagne

We are a multicultural family hailing from France, England, America, and Myanmar. We have three children: 8-year-old twins Marcel and Jules and Clémence, a little girl of 6. Our time is divided between Dallas and France. In January 2021, we fell in love with the Manoir La Ville Durand and the Côtes d'Armor, finding at last a place to share our special paradise with our large family from all four corners of the world.

Our main family motto and words we instill in our children are:
Share the simple pleasures of life to retain its authenticity.
Treasure the joyful times spent with family and friends.

We look forward to welcoming you and opening the doors of our home to create memories as unforgettable as ours.

The history of the Manor La Ville Durand through the centuries

Nestled in the village of Binic-Étables-sur-mer, overlooking the countryside, stands the imposing silhouette of the Manoir de la Ville Durand.

Initially modest in size, the house has evolved and flourished over the centuries. The Manoir was originally built in the 13th century as a lookout point for soldiers to easily view incoming enemies from the sea. In those days, the Manoir’s turret had a clear view of the sea. The oldest document concerning the house dates from 1345 and mentions the chapel Saint-Jacques on the property. Remains of the original guard tower and pedestrian gate from the late 14th century still stand at the primary entrance. Some of the stones of the old guard tower and the Manoir’s central towers are identical, so historians believe these buildings were constructed simultaneously. In the 14th and 15th centuries, soldiers continued to use the roof of the tour de garde as a lookout point. They would use carrier pigeons to send warnings and communications to other castles in the area.

Postcard representing the Manoir La Ville Durand in Étables-sur-mer
Old postcard from "La Ville Durand"

The main building, located at the back of the courtyard, includes a structure on the right dating from the late 16th/ early 17th century. The Renaissance-style skylight also dates the building from this time. The unique floors in this building have a very wide wooden sleepers. The wood, examined by a specialist, comes from 900-year-old tree. Additions were made to connect the left tower to the main building in the mid-19th century. This addition subsequently closed the courtyard.

The right tower contains the original 14th century wooden spiral staircase with an English influence, as the stairs lead up counterclockwise. The French typically built staircases leading up clockwise.

The central dining room in the oldest part of the house containing a magnificent stone fireplace. A curved door located upstairs polished on two sides, suggests that an external staircase allowed direct access from the outside to this floor.

The imposing main building, flanked by its two circular towers, has often earned this house the title of “castle”, especially since it also has an underground corridor connecting the two towers.

Postcard representing the Manoir La Ville Durand in Étables-sur-mer
Old postcard from "La Ville Durand"

Near the entrance stands a chapel dedicated to Saint-Jacques from the 18th century. It was once part of the manor. Until 1960, church services were held there, especially during the Rogations. Since 1972 it has belonged to the adjacent farm. Statues of Mary and st Joseph once decorated the alcoves of the church. They have since disappeared.

Previously, the agricultural building part were in the courtyard, with the farmhouse at the entrance. Both date from the 17th century. The structures have been preserved, lending it the characteristics appearance of a manor : a fair courtyard surrounded by exterior buildings.

The parish church once owned this noble house, when the farm, water mill, windmill, and dovecote were once all part of the property.

There were many water points around the manor. The river, the Giresse, comes from the Chanet crosses the Sieurne, and joins the Vau Durand. The latter, whose source is at Les Noës, feeds the pond (lagoon) where a water mill once dependent on the property. The 1806 plan reads “ G moulin de l’Étang”.(windmill of l’Etang). Small streams provided for several washouses, including one in the Avenue leading to the Manor entrance and another in a neighboring field called “L’avoir de la Ville Durand” there was also a significant number of wells, almost one in every house in the village. An old mysterious well still sits in the courtyard of the Manor.

We know there were also several fountains, including the Saint-Jacques fountain, which was said to have magical properties, and the Saint-Lunaire fountain at the Vau Durand. The city sadly blocked the fountains to widen the road.

Records show Rolland de Beaulieu to be the first owner of the Manoir in 1480; then, the house passed to Jean de Teillac in 1510. In 1548, Henri II ennobled Sir François Lestic, Lord of the City Durand. The Manoir remained in the Lestic family until 1583, then was sold to Mr. Favigo. In 1686, the Chapron de la Motte family lived in the Manoir until the 18th century; it was then passed to the Potiers de la Houssaye family.

According to records, the Manoir was sold to Augustin Fichet in 1769 from Dame Francoise Maclavie, the widow of Sir Robert Potier. The beginning of the 19th century shows the property belonging to Monsieur Goullé. The records are missing for most of the remaining century.

At the beginning of the 20th century, the Manoir belonged to Mademoiselle Marie-Thérèse Richer and the Diocese of Saint-Brieuc. In February of 1939, the heir proceeded to buy back the share owned by the diocese. The next owner inherited the house but never lived at the Manoir. Abbé Fournier rented the house from 1949 to 1967 for summer camps.

The Germans did not occupy the house during WWII like most French castles and manors. As the house had been unoccupied, the municipality requisitioned it and used it to house displaced farmers and villagers.

In the 1970s, the house would undergo significant renovations under the new owner's direction. In 1984, the farmer's family, who had operated the farm since 1944, bought the Manoir's farmland, thus breaking up the property.

The house would again go through major renovations in the next few decades. Each owner would strive to preserve the Manoir's heritage. In 2020, just before Covid caused the world to stand still, the house changed hands again to the Meyrat family. They fell in love with the place on a single trip to Brittany. They decided to turn their love of France, history, and antiques to renovate the house for generations to come without compromising the soul and essence of the house that makes it so unique.

The Manoir la Ville Durand has passed through the centuries and seen many occupants living within its walls. The house has witnessed extraordinary events, some joyous and some tragic. You may imagine hearing the laughter of children who once occupied the place during summer camp years or even smell traces of smoke still permeating from the old kitchen's fireplace. There is a story about precious jewels hidden within a secret niche of the house and even an underground escape tunnel that leads directly to the sea. But shh, every home has its secrets and legends!