VAL RIVE IS LOCATED IN THE HEART OF BRITTANY
A Little Bit of History
The Benedictine Abbey in Léhon was founded in the 9th century by Nominoe, the first Duke of Brittany. The old bridge of Léhon was originally a toll crossing of the river, with the toll producing revenue for the Abbey. It was a strong fortification point between the banks of Léhon and Lanvally. The castle was built in the 12th century on the feudal mound dominating the bridge, and it was once razed to the ground by Henry II of England during his invasion.
The Duchy of Brittany was a medieval feudal state that existed between approximately 939 and 1547. The duchy was established after the expulsion of Viking armies from the region around 939. The Duchy of the 10th and 11th century was politically unstable, with the dukes only holding limited power outside their own personal lands. The duchy had mixed relationships with the neighbouring Duchy of Normandy, sometimes allying itself with Normandy, and at other times, such as the Breton-Norman War, entering into open conflict.
Henry II of England invaded Brittany at the end of the 12th century, making his son, Geoffrey, the Duke. The Angevins remained in control until the collapse of their empire in northern France in 1204 and the conquest of the Duchy by Philip II of France. The French Crown maintained its influence over the Duchy for the rest of the 13th century. Monastic orders supported by the Breton aristocracy spread across the Duchy in the 11th and 12th centuries, and in the 13th the first of the mendicant orders established themselves in Brittany’s major towns. Civil war broke out in the 14th century, as rival claimants for the Duchy vied for power during the Breton War of Succession, with different factions supported by England and France.
The independent sovereign nature of the Duchy began to come to an end upon the death of Francis II in 1488. The Duchy was inherited by his daughter, Anne, but King Charles VIII of France had her existing marriage annulled and then married her himself. As a result, the King of France acquired the title of Duke of Brittany jure uxoris. The Duchy was finally merged into the Kingdom of France in 1532 through a vote of the Estates of Brittany.
Louis Chupin, a very popular mayor of Lehon, lived at Val Rive in the second half of the 19th century and named the impressive house Maison Chupin. He owned a textile factory employing local workers and also purchased a tannery at the edge of his property. He was instrumental in campaigning to obtain funds for the restoration of the Abbey.