In the late 5th century, an Irish hermit named RONAN landed on the shores of Armoria, floating in a stone dugout according to the legend, to evangelize.
He goes up the Aber Ildut and settles down near a well (Toul an Aon: “hole in the river”). This hermitage (probably constructed nearby the current city hall) will be the starting point of the city of Saint-Renan – Toul an Aon becoming a neighbourhood. The village grew and became a city towards the 10th or 11th century.
Until the 15th century the city is often called Saint Renan of Tay (from the old Breton Tay or Teigh meaning mud). This will be translated into french as Saint Renan des marais (of the marshes).Leon Lords built and expanded the city: they organised fairs and markets and constructed many public and private buildings, including several covered market halls.
In 1276 the city; called “Saint-Renan du Tay”, was sold to the Duke of Brittany. In 1340 he created a court of justice under the designation of the Ducal Bar of Saint-Renan and Brest. The city becomes Royal in 1532, after the merging of Brittany and France.With the creation of the court of justice, Saint-Renan became the capital of the Seneschalsy. The seneschal was in charge of the civil and military administration, which stretched over 37 parishes..
A decree of Louis XIV
These good years will end in July 1681, with the publication of the letters patent of Louis XIV in which he transfers to Brest the prerogatives of Saint-Renan, namely the court of justice as well as the fares and markets. The departure of the services of justice leads to an important economical regression.
However, the markets are maintained, illegally and despite many trials. They were restored in 1689, thanks to the liberality of the Marquis de la Roche, the Lord of Curru and the revolt of the citizens.It is true that the local lords, receiving royalties on everything that was sold in the city, saw the benefits..
Today, the market takes place on Saturday and attracts all year long numerous customers, passers-by and tourists.