It’s the amazing house that’s stuck between a rock and a hard place.
This abode in the coastal village of Plougrescant in Brittany, France, dates back to 1861 and was sandwiched – in spectacular fashion – between two huge rocks to help protect it from the area’s notorious storms.
It’s called Castel Meur, but is also known as La Maison du Gouffre, or ‘the house in the chasm’.
Castel Meur, pictured, in the coastal village of Plougrescant, Brittany, was sandwiched between two granite boulders to help protect it from the area’s notorious storms
To understand how the property came into being, wind the clock back to the 19th century when no planning permission was required to build a home on this spot on the Côtes-d’Armor coastline.
According to The Connexion, one man was so enamoured by the Plougrescant peninsula he decided he wanted to build a cottage on the site, between two giant slabs of granite. As an extra precaution against the weather, the building was constructed with its back turned against the sea.
The cottage stayed in the family for years to come, but after the turn of the 20th century, it was only inhabited periodically as a holiday home.
In 2004, the original owner’s granddaughter relocated from the US to France and moved into the picturesque cottage.
In the meantime, the cottage had acquired celebrity status in Plougrescant. Its image was printed on the front of a postcard, which made its way around the world, inviting tourists to explore the region – and have a gawp at the unconventional cottage.
It all came to a head when a group of tourists clambered onto the roof of Castel Meur to capture a photograph, damaging the property in the process.
The unconventional cottage in Plougrescant dates back to 1861 – a time when building permissions were not needed
According to reports, the owner then obtained legal rights to the image of the property, which no longer features on postcards or advertisements of the area. A wall was also built around the property, enhancing its privacy.
Those hoping to catch a glimpse of Castel Meur can see the house from nearby coastal pathways. However, visitors should note that it is not open to the public.
Plougrescant is known for its rugged beauty, though the Brittany tourism board describes it as the region’s ‘crazy northernmost point’.
Those hoping to witness Castel Meur for themselves can see the house from nearby coastal pathways
As for Castel Meur, it says it is ‘one of the most picturesque houses in Brittany’.
The tourism board also recommends visiting the Plougrescant chapel which, it reveals, ‘looks like it has stepped out of the pages of a fairytale’.
And 450 metres from La Maison du Gouffre visitors will find ‘gouffre de la baie d’enfer’, a ravine that translates to the ‘chasm of hell bay’. On stormy days, the wind and waves rushing through this parting in the cliffs create a hellish howling sound.
The nearest train station is in the town of Lannion, which is a 30-minute drive from Plougrescant. Brittany’s biggest city, Rennes, is a two-hour drive away.