In 1028, Duke Alan of Brittany built a richly endowed convent for his sister, Adela, Who became the first Abbess of St Georges while still a child. The Duke explains his reason for building the nunnery in this passage he wrote in the original foundation charter:
“I offer to God my sister, the most precious treasure i possess under the sun, andmoreover I dedicateher according to her spiritual desire to perpetuate virginity.”
Some believe that he built the nunnery and gave it to the church to guarantee the salvation of his soul and perhaps to rid himself of a child with no marriage prospects.
Others believed that the real reason was to remove his sister from wordly temptaion. Rumor had it that she was emotionally involved with a master stone carver from Rennes who worked on the construction of the nunnery. Legend has it that he carved a large stone cross for the courtyard of the convent. He used entwinted hearts as the design to demostrate his unrequited love for the abbess. The design of the cross is based upon that legend.