At the end of the Hundres Years War, in 1475, Gervais du Tremblay, the son of Gilles du Tremblay, decides to take advantage the Avre River that flows on his land and the ponds that are included there. One idea is to construct a lock and to enlarge the Arc Pond, at a place near Randonay called Gaillon. He did not do this because of the possibility of finding gold nuggets, despite the fact that by its name the small river gives the pretension to be gold. Forges and stoves of this period were established near an artificial pond or a level place bordered by a dike; this impoundment built with an outlet and sluice where the water was pushed bty paddlewheels from the mill through pipes of woods. The forest provided the necessary fuel and constituted an important natural reservoir for these waterways. Thus, on the banks of the Avre, the first forge manufacturers of Perche wer constructed.
Given the permission to do so from the Trappist monks (for all such activity required permission from the true owners of Conturbis), Gervais plans to build such a forge. He had to, however, wait twelve years before he could obtain the official permission for this forge on the fief of the Chesnay from the religious the Abbey of La Trappe.
In 1486, Gervais du Tremblay took to lease a parcel of meadow « now covered by the water of the forge». An agreement was struck, the terms of which committed Gervais du Tremblay twenty tourneme of annuity and twenty ecus of gold « for God, alms, and to help to erect the church of the Abbey of La Trappe».
Forges of the fifteenth century represented a degree of notable industrial concentration. Rich merchants of the day could raise a great deal of capital from their creation. The Abbey of La Trappe wanted to possess such a forge, similar to the lords of the Vetrouze and Tourouve.
In 1488, Robert Boutherays and Simon Daugé, bourgeois of Verneuil, got together to construct the mill of Hays. Behind the lead of Gervais du Tremblay, first sieur of Gaillon and entrepreneur, one senses the immense work of generations and the slow accumulation of capital, giving birth to long line of forge masters. The complex manufacturing plant testified to a progressive technology considerable in the development of an iron industry. Administered during more of two centuries by the same family, it provided the work to more of 250 workers to the moment of the Revolution.
Indeed, numerous personnel surrounded the master of the forge. The caster master, holder of secrets of iron casting, was the first of them. Blacksmiths, drivers, refinery experts, laborers, smelters, and many other assisted him. The blacksmith was hired to find in the region an abundant source of ore, that would produce an excellent quality iron, easy to work. He first found such ore in the hills that dominate Tourouvre, to the north, down to the southern edge of the forest of the Perche. The extraction was made some to open sky, to even of excavations that one called «bedrooms»; they were well seven to eight meters of depth, dug in the clay. One of them found to be filled each morning with water and it was necessary to empty them before midday. [Poor translation, but it sounds like they used pit mining, and had difficulties with ground water filling the mines.]
The ore, once washed and sorted on the spot, was carried to the foundry in bags of cloth, on th backs of mules; once deliever, it was fed to the ??. Then it is crushed, washed anew in basins supply scrapers and mixed casting, sort of marl to basis of limestone. [again, poor tranlation, but a description of the iron washing and casting process, continued in next paragraph]
Ore and coal from woods are poured to the wheelbarrow in the stove that gives a casting by 24 hours. The metallurgic countryside went from six to eight month. The high - stove, put to fire in October - November and decree in May - June, burnt day and night. To the beautiful season, works of fields and the harvest interrupted the production. The master of forge put it to profit to supervise the exploitation of his land. The cast iron picks in channels of sand to half cylindrical and form the mold, that will be able to be converted in iron in the crucible of the refinery. Arms, tools and ploughs are manufactured11 to the continuation of a second fusion and the hammer is handmade.
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