AT RIAILLÉ (Loire-Atlantique)



Since 400 years the cast iron and steel were manufactured at " La Poitevinière " and at " La Provostière ". The metallurgic site of " Provostière " has been recently restored with taste by its current owner with the means of an hotel trade of holidays project well done. On the other hand, nothing has been undertaken to safeguard the " Poitevinière " one.

Its blast furnace, one of the oldest in France, is not any more in activity since 1868. It was preserved in good condition because the will of its landlords. It is classified since 1990: Historic building for the Industrial Inheritance. (see " Les Forges de la Baronnie "). Just after the metallurgic discontinuance of business, the buildings have been  restructured to allow the installation of a flour mill which stopped definitively in 1968. Since the site is left at the abandonment and is falling little by little in ruins. In a few years, all the buildings will be fallen down. The blast furnace is for the moment still intact, but its degradation by the bad weather will also occur when the structure which surrounds it will not protect it any more.

The conservation of an historic building integrated in a not classified unit is not easy for its owner and it is quite impossible for the French administration to do it at the place of the legitimate landlord, but I allow myself to draw the attention of all to this historical inheritance of Riaillé which is going to disappear at medium term. To save it  a restructure at short term would be necessary or, want of this, a dialogue between the private and public decision-makers to finance the setting out of water of the buildings and the fallen down walls repairing.

This last solution could be facilitated by:

    - a public subsidy and safeguard by the landlord

    - an "emphyteotique" lease for a long time, the taking organization would assume the survival of the unit.

    - the purchase of the site by the Conseil Général or Régional and urgent repairs done by the purchaser

 Each one of these possibilities would preserve a new allocation of the site to a public or private project when it will be made possible by good economic or cultural circumstances.

You will find below some photographs taken in November 2004.

Noël Bouvet the 2nd December 2004


Flour mill and blast furnace chimney Accountant house and flour mill Flour mill
The powerful lake The flour mill water engine Some leftovers


The blast furnace chimney


The flowing channel


The blast furnace chamber


Blast furnace entry


Some flour mill ruins


Back side of Accountant house


Front side of Accountant house


Front side of Accountant house


The flour mill way


Flour mill machines


Flour mill machines


Flour mill machines



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