Background information | contacts

Fourmies-Trelon Ecomusée

Watermill, Sars-Poteries
Millstones, Sars-Poteries Mill

Fourmies Textile Museum
Ecomusee textile machineDemonstration of cloth weaving machine - at Museum of Textiles & Social Life, Fourmies

back to top

Death of old craft industries in the Avenois
The wooded hilly area around Avesnes was home to many early craft-based industries. Like the Pennine valleys of Lancashire and Yorkshire, it was busy in France's "industrial revolution". There are many streams to drive waterwheels. In the 18th and 19th centuries, water powered the spinning machines to make yarn from wool; looms in workshops to weave cloth; bellows to smelt iron; and the tilt hammers to forge metal goods.

Quiet rural backwater
By the end of the 19th century, large-scale industries boomed on the lowlands of the Nord coalfield, especially around Lille. Bigger coal-powered factories using steam engines could make goods cheaper, but the small factories and workshops of the Avenois only slowly went out of business. Today the area has become a quiet rural backwater.

The region's Ecomusée
The museum covers 8 sites - each preserving a relic of these old craft industries, and where possible recreating its skills and the past way of life associated with those craft workers of a bygone age:

  • Musée du Textile et de la vie sociale, Fourmies - textile mill
  • Atelier Musée du Verre, Trélon - glass-making
  • Maison du Bocage, Sains-du-nord - farm museum, country crafts
  • Maison de la Fagne, Wallers-Trélon - geology & uses of local blue-stone
  • Conservatoire du Patrimonie religieux, Liessies - history of 11th century Benedictine abbey

There are two working watermills:

  • Moulin à eau, Sars-poteries - complete 18th century flour mill
  • Moulin des bois jolis, Felleries - water-powered wood turning

1. Glass Museum/ factory-workshop, Trélon. 2. Inside: old kiln built in 1890's, made champagne bottles.

3. hand blowing and shaping hot glass Trelon. 4. contemporary glass creation. Sars-Poteries
back to top

If you are interested in GLASS:

Factory tours of giant modern glassworks, with factory shop bargains:
Crystal glassworks, Arques
History of glass-making and artists working in glass:
Glass Workshop, Trélon
Glass Museum, Sars-Poteries
Glass-blower, Saint Omer

Web Link:

Background information
Industrial revolution in France
Water-power & watermills
Textile industry

back to top

...Send in a review..
Reviewer - ??
Location: Ecomusée de la Region Fourmies-Trélon, Place Maria Blondeau BP65, 59612 FOURMIES

Information/ reservations:
Tel: 00 33 3 27 60 66 11
Fax: 00 33 3 27 60 23 88




Val Joly - lake & nature park © Copyright 1999-2007 Invicta Media. Last updated 8th August 2007