The Oiselinière estate was, before the French Revolution a 'Seigniory'. It is mentioned as early as 1335 in the charter 'Les Actes'. It spreads over the districts of Gorges and Clisson, and under the feudal system depended on the Seigneurs of Clisson and Pallet. For 643 years, this Seigniory only changed families four times: Maurice le Meigen was the owner, then in 1460 one of this descendants through allegiance, Claude Grézeau took over. His family sold the seigniory of the Oiselinière to Jean Goulet de la Fosse de Nantes in 1613. Louis de la Bourdonnaye acquired the property in 1658. Then in 1767, the seigniory was sold to the ancestors of the Aulanier family (This family made a great contribution in the Second World War, Oselinière being a hotbed of resistance).
The castle is a villa built in Italian style between 1822 and 1835 to enclose a square courtyard dated from the 17th century. The villa, the outbuildings, the orangery and the gallery of 'Les Illustres' are included in the inventory of historical monuments since 1997 and are cited as reference in the inventory 'Clisson or return to Italy.'
To the west of the villa, near the orangery stands a set of architectural interest with six niches on its main facade which are made of circular brick and adorned with busts of famous men. From left to right, we can recognize Olivier de Clisson, Conde, Duquesne, Jean Bart, and Bayard Duguesclin.
The Château de Fougères is an impressive castle with curtain wall and 13 towers. It had three different enclosures, first for defensive purposes, second for day to day usages in peacetime and for safety of the surrounding populations in times of siege, the last enclosure was where the keep was situated.
The first wooden fort was built by the House of Amboise in the 11th century. It was destroyed in 1166 after it was besieged and taken by King Henry II of England. It was immediately rebuilt by Raoul II Baron de Fougères. Fougères was not involved in the Hundred Years' War until 1449 when the castle was taken by surprise by an English mercenary. In 1488 the French troops won the castle back after a siege and the castle lost its military role.
In the late 18th century the castle was turned into a prison. The owner in this period was the Baron Pommereul. In the 19th century the outer ward became an immense landscaped garden. A museum was established in the Mélusine Tower. During the Industrial Revolution, a shoe factory set up shop in the castle grounds.
The City of Fougères took ownership of the Château in 1892. It had been a listed Historical Monument since 1862. A major campaign was launched to clean up the castle walls. While the castle had retained many of its original features, some of the curtain walls needed to be cleared and certain sections required major repairs. The changes made in the 18th century were "reversed," and the castle was finally open to visitors. The first campaign of archaeological excavations, conducted in 1925, unearthed the ruins of the manor house.
Since then, the Château de Fougères has welcomed tens of thousands of visitors every year. The castle's excellent state of conservation, and the historical interest of its architecture, make Fougères an invaluable window onto the Middle Ages. From great lords to simple builders, generations of inhabitants have left their mark on these walls.