This tidal island became home to the first community of Saint-Malo in 1308 when the Malouin people revolted against their bishop and gathered there to elect a mayor. In around 1360, hermits built a chapel there, devoted to Notre-Dame-des-Lauriers, then later to Saint-Ouen. A small fort or redoubt was built there in 1555. This was replaced by other fortifications in 1652. The French writer Chateaubriand was buried on Grand Bé on 18 July 1848. Some twenty years before dying, he expressed his wish to be buried on the tiny piece of land, looking out to sea, so that he could ‘continue his conversation with the ocean’.