Lake View Villas was built by a granite merchant, a Monsieur
Pierre Loirat, who employed 200 people in Huelgoat in his granite stone quarries.
Before the outbreak of the Second World War, he built Brest Naval Academy which was
later captured by the Germans' and was where they built their massive U-boat pens.
During the war the British tried to destroy them with the "Tall Boy" bombs. Ironically,
it was at that time that Lake View Villas was taken over by German officers, during
their occupation of Huelgoat. When the Germans left, the Loirats' returned to their
Villa, and once again, his company rebuilt Brest Naval base and a good deal of the
surrounding area. Brest Naval base and the U-boat pens are now the home of the French
Navy and submarine fleet, including their nuclear aircraft carrier.
worked for the Red Cross in the Villa towards the end of the war. You can see the
old war chests upstairs where some of the toys are kept.
The Roman legions
left Britain in 410 AD in order to try to defend Rome from being overrun by the Huns
and other barbarians. Britain was effectively defenceless and, as well as attacks
in the north and west, the real invasions were of the Angles in the east (East Riding,
Lincolnshire, East Anglia) and the Saxons in the south (the south Saxons in Sussex,
the east Saxons in Essex, the west Saxons in Wessex etc). In time the Angles and
Saxons would occupy what became Angle-land or England.
Many of the indigenous British
were killed by the pagan invaders. This was what today is euphemistically called
'ethnic cleansing' on a huge scale. Those who could fled to Wales, Cornwall and the
Lake District. Some of the rich British went to north-west Gaul which became Brittany,
the land of the Britons.
One of the last places to hold out against the Angles was Elmet, part of the West
Riding. That was not defeated until the beginning of the seventh century. Leodis
or Leeds may have been the centre of Elmet. Very little is known about it.
ninth century it all happened again with the Viking invasions when eastern 'England'
was occupied by the Danes. It was Alfred who really created a unified England after
defeating the Danes.
The next invasion was the Normans in 1066. They were originally
Vikings who had settled in Normandy.
Huelgoat is derived from the Breton words,
'Huel' (High) and 'Koat' (wood or forest) i.e. 'The High Forest' or 'The Tall Wood'.
Caesars legions camped here during their occupation some 2000 years ago, due to its
high strategic position. This is known as Camp d'Arthus, and this is thought to be
where the legend of King Arthur began. There was a lot of resistance to the Germans
in this area by the Bretons, as you will see in the monuments to the many resistance
fighters who lost their lives fighting in the woods, not to mention the tank battle
between the Germans and Americans of the 6th Armoured Corps in the square by the
church. There is a monument to these brave souls by the Maree's office.
You can see the Americans entering the town square in the region of Finistere, Huelgoat,
Brittany, France, below.
For more information about the Americans in Brittany towards the end of the German
occupation, you can find further details here.