FROM ANCIENT TIMES TO...
Saint-Cast and Le Guildo was settled as early as the ancient times. Graves, axes, polished stones, pottery remains and a few jewels were found.
The Romans who settled in Brittany from 57 B.C. to 480 A.D. also established a small garrison in Saint-Cast le Guildo. Remnants were discovered in Saint-Cast (fragments of red tiles, pieces of ceramic and common pottery and flat tiles).
"The great Armor route", a secondary Roman route, was used by the troops, the administration, logistics and connections. This route started from Saint-Servan, passed through the Guildo ford and went towards Pléboulle and Saint-Brieuc.
MONKS SETTLING IN SAINT-JACUT
Monks from Ireland and Wales, driven out by the Saxon invader, settled in Saint-Jacut around the VIth century. Priories not recognized as parishes were established and notably that of Sainte Blanche in the L'Isle neighbourhood. This priory was truly modest (a few rudimentary cells, a common room and a place of worship). The chapel was used for church services, funerals and religious education sessions. Archaeological discoveries allowed to show that the current chapel was certainly built on the very location of the original chapel.
The main inhabitants there were fishermen and ploughmen. The second priory was established in the XIth century in Sainte Brigitte.
THE CASTLE OF SAINT-CAST AND BIRTH OF THE PARISH
At the beginning, the Lord of Saint-Cast certainly lived in a wooden structure on a mount. But he had a castle built, as did all the other lords, a castle which was erected at the beginning of the XIIth century. This strong house was relatively simple: defence towers with supply depots on the ground floor and a first floor where the vassals lived, in charge of the supervision of the property. Between the towers, there were buildings with a common room, one or two living rooms for the Lord and his family, outbuildings, a kitchen, stables, a kennel and a dovecot outside. The latest modifications happened in 1709.
In order not to go to the church of Pléboulle, the Lord of Saint-Cast had a castral chapel erected at the end of the XIIth century, beginning of the XIIIth. A new parish was born and was named Saint-Cast. Indeed, the first mention of the name Saint-Cast appears around 1223.
The "activity centre" thus moved from L'Isle to le Bourg (village quarter).
THE BATTLE OF SAINT-CAST ON SEPTEMBER 11, 1758
On May 17, 1756, the war, later known as "Seven Years' War" was declared between France and England, because of their economic and colonial rivalries. England's strategy was to invade the Channel coasts, thus maintaining its troops there. In September, its combat and landing fleets were in front of Saint-Malo and landed on the 4th in Saint-Briac. Saint-Malo was the city to be overtaken since its defence was considerably reinforced. When the weather turned bad, the Admiral was forced to find shelter in the Bay of Saint-Cast. Land-based troops reaching Saint-Cast were only made up of 12,000 men. To reach their fleet, they had to cross a ford, the estuary of Arguenon in Le Guildo. This crossing was delayed by 48h because of the tide and and lack of knowledge of the ford. On September 11 in the morning, at about 8.30 a.m., the English started to move on to the main beach for boarding. 732 men were made prisoners on the English side, while 2000 were dead including 1400 found on the main beach and buried in the dunes or the seabed itself. As for the French, 495 were killed or injured. 149 victims were buried at the Cemetery of Valivray, later on renamed Cemetery of the Braves.
The battle of Saint-Cast was the only French victory during the Seven Years' War (except for colonies).
THE REVOLUTIONARY PERIOD
Before the Revolution, Saint-Cast was a simple rural parish. The only authority was a simple seneschal, tax prosecutor. A small assembly of inhabitants (composed of 37 members), which had no executive power, could nonetheless examine all problems arising.
Then the July 14, 1789 Revolution happened.
On February 1, 1790, following the Constituent Assembly's decision dated November 12, 1789, a municipality was created in Saint-Cast.
THE CHOLERA EPIDEMIC IN 1832
In Saint-Cast, there was a cholera outbreak in L'Isle (most populated part of the town and most open to the outside). It was brought back by two sailors back from Bréhat and caused 51 casualties.
THE EARLY TIMES OF THE SEASIDE RESORT
City life was divided in Saint-Cast between two neighbourhoods: L'Isle and Le Bourg. In 1870, a few bathing huts and tents were installed in Les Mielles. Alfred Marinier, a painter struck by the beauty of Saint-Cast, bought all available plots of land at the tip of La Garde and surrounding areas. He had the Beach Hotel built and encouraged his friends to come and build villas and chalets. Soon, some economic activity started in Saint-Cast. Festivals, tennis tournaments, regattas, donkey races and fireworks were organised each year. A regional railway road open in 1905 allowed to provide service to Saint-Cast.
THE RESORT DURING THE FIRST WORLD WAR 1914/1918
Numerous inhabitants from Saint-Cast were mobilized during the First World War. A military hospital was opened to accommodate all Belgian and French soldiers who found shelter in Saint-Cast.
Between the wars, the resort continued to grow, modernise and acquire new equipment. The resort accommodated 12,000 to 15,000 holiday-makers per year in the 25 hotels and 11 family pensions. Infrastructures such as the gymnastics club, yacht club, golf course, tennis court and camping ground were also created.
In 1932, the owner of the Royal Bellevue hotel launched the construction of the swing sets.
THE RESORT DURING THE SECOND WORLD WAR 1939/1945
Saint-Cast once more received refugees from Belgium and the North of France. German troops established their headquarters to supervise the construction of the Atlantic Wall as well as the coast. Several hotels were requisitioned, some villas were destroyed while others were evacuated or even walled. The German put up many anti-tank obstacles on the beach and mines fields in the dunes.
A resistance network, called "Var" network, was also active in Saint-Cast. It was mainly involved an an intelligence network but also in charge of sending pilots shot down above France and volunteers to England.
Saint-Cast was liberated on August 3, 1944. Immediately, Saint-Cast hosted refugees from Brest and Poland (mostly women).
From the summer of 1945 onwards, a near-normal life resumed in Saint-Cast, despite the presence of mine fields.
In 1949, buses replaced the railway traffic of regional railway tracks.
In 1957, the Bois Bras equestrian centre was created.
In 1969, Saint-Cast was classified as a seaside resort.