An impressive, derelict, listed building, dating from the industrial era
on 5,000 m² of land, an hour from Paris in the Eure Valley
Maintenon, EURE-ET-LOIR center-val-de-loire 28130 FR

Location

This impressive, derelict, industrial wasteland is in the Centre region, where those of the Loire and the Ile-de-France meet in the midst of the Eure Valley. It extends along the main road of a village in the Beauce Country. A regional TER train station, with 50-minute links to Paris-Montparnasse, is within easy walking distance. The village has shops and amenities which can be completed by those just a stone’s throw away in Maintenon and the surrounding area.

Description

This building comes into view around a bend in the main road of the village, below the railway line, a few hundred metres further away. In the early 1960’s, it produced 35 tonnes of bricks which were then taken by lorry to the surrounding area and were used for the construction of the Bichat hospital in Paris. The last orders were for the Palace of Versailles in 1995. The end of the deindustrialisation in the late 1990’s proved too much for the prestigious building which became listed as a French Historic Monument by regional Order in 1999.

The brickworks

Facing the cement slab, two gable walls featuring five windows with access to the factory for one and a garage door in the other. The hipped roof is covered with local tiles and supports two impressive red brick chimneys, symbols of a building now in a perilous state of repair. The factory is surrounded by various small buildings used as garages. The town’s local planning programme anticipates the destruction of these infrastructures, thus increasing the land surface area.


Ground floor
The flat-tile kiln most certainly dates from the 1890’s and followed a first older kiln built under the Second Empire, Prince-President Napoleon III having been a keen defender of the industrial innovations that were transforming the country landscape at that time. Industrialist Georges-Lambert converted the site as we find it today. The current kiln is a Hoffmann and was the first to operate on a continual basis. It is composed of two impressive, north-south-facing galleries, more than 30 m long and 8.5 m wide. They are linked by a small, angled gallery. Each gallery houses nine doors. The floors are made of packed mud. On the same level is a diesel engine, the key feature of the premises, near to rolling ramps and a touching little cloakroom, furnished with cupboards and wash-hand basins. Here and there are the drying areas where the bricks were stored before being baked. Boilers installed in the drying rooms prevented the unbaked bricks from freezing. During baking, they were stood on edge and alternately stacked to allow combustion and the circulation of air.
First floor
A vast open space in another annexe building, it was originally intended for baking bricks during the spring and summer months. The fire was fed near the cooking unit. Workmen poured fine particles of coal. It was introduced via the 90 heat-sink openings made in the gallery vaults.
Open barn
The north-east section of the brickworks was composed of a farm shed that is still in existence and the so-called “reduction to dust” building, both forming the manufacturing area. The earth that came out of the hopper went into the grinders, then a moulding extruder gave the bricks and tiles their required shape.

Our opinion

Rehabilitation of derelict industrial wasteland is obviously a major project, but the potential there is great. Nowadays, this abandoned building is virtually in a perilous state of repair. Industrial heritage dating from the 19th and 20th centuries and a complete page of regional history, it is in urgent need of being saved. Once is not customary as is proved by its French Historic Monument listing which demonstrates the importance and the recognition of brickworks: save, preserve, rehabilitate and innovate will be the audacious challenges of its new owners seeking to breathe new life into this “Site of Memory” to quote French historian Pierre-Nora.

Exclusive sale

330 000 €
Fees at the Vendor’s expense


See the fee rates

Reference 155808

Land registry surface area 7689 m2
Main building surface area 5000 m2
Number of bedrooms 10

Consultant


Olivier Borget +33 1 42 84 80 85

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NB: The above information is not only the result of our visit to the property; it is also based on information provided by the current owner. It is by no means comprehensive or strictly accurate especially where surface areas and construction dates are concerned. We cannot, therefore, be held liable for any misrepresentation.

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