In 1080 the first written mention of the parish of Fresnais are found in a census. The name means a 'place planted with ash trees,' the Roman name for which was fraxinetum.
Between the bay of Mont-Saint-Michel and the wetlands of Chateauneuf, the town is located in the Marais Blanc, an agricultural area with rich and deep soils.
The wetlands have given physical form to this village, which has been largely untouched by the tides of history.
A community shaped by the sea
The inhabitants, known as fresnaisiens, have had to fight regularly against the incoming flood tides, as the surrounding wetlands are below sea level.
Considerable drainage works have been undertaken in the municipalities of Hirel, Saint-Benoît and Lillemer. The canals bear Breton names - Bief Briand, Bief Jean, Bief du milieu, etc.
A multitude of small stone bridges cross the many canals. The most interesting architecturally are the Pont de la Goutte, the Bridge of Rosais and the Bridge of Ville es Brune, with their systems of sluice gates still in place.
In the town centre, the church of Saint-Méen and Sainte-Croix has been listed as a Historical Monument since September 14, 2015. Its Roman-Byzantine appearance is the work of architect Arthur Regnault.
Also worth mentioning is an 18th century bakery, fully restored in the 20th century, and located on the rue du Petit Chêne. The old cross of the Dukes of Serent, at the entrance to the sports field is a reminder of a tragic episode during the Revolution - come and find out more!
A natural and protected coastline
The Espace de la Bruyère, a sensitive natural area located in the Natura 2000 park, welcomes lovers of nature, hiking and biking. Bird lovers will enjoy spotting herons, egrets and wild duck...
1400 hectares - 2,300 inhabitants - Locals known as Fresnaisiens & Fresnaisiennes