At the heart of the Ceramic Valley, the Briqueterie of City-le-Noble, the Brick Factory, is a unique industrial building offering a fascinating journey through the last century. Stroll through the original building of the brick manufacture and discover the traditional know-how and the life of workers.
Clay : a local natural resource
Clay is the local treasure that has provided the main ingredient for brickmaking in the Ceramic Valley . The abundance and the high quality of the clay extracted in the soil largely contributed to the establishment of the many ceramic factories along the canal du Centre in the 20th century and the region’s reputation of excellence in ceramic, brick and tiles production.
Of all these ceramic factories, the old Vairet-Baudot brickyard is the best preserved. Founded in 1863, the family business specializes in the manufacture of bricks, paving tiles and a variety of products for the chemical industry, using the unique properties of local clays. The Brick Factory is still full of items and equipment reminiscent of the golden age of the industry in the Creusot-Montceau area. This thriving factory operated until it closed its doors in 1967.
The Brick Factory lives on!
Aware of the necessity to preserve valuable, yet abandoned industrial wasteland, the local authorities of the urban Community of Creusot-Montceau commissions restoration works for it to become a heritage site open to the public.
Listed as a historical monument today, the Brick Factory is brought back to life with a great educational scenography and visitors can experience a memorable journey through yesteryear and a varied program of entertainment, demonstrations and exhibitions around the clay and the art of traditional brick making.
In an authentic setting, young and old alike are invited to relive the effervescence of the brick workshop featuring original machines and equipment. The 7500 square meters building showcases an original infrastructure with its metal bridge, storage halls, manufacturing facilities, dryers, ovens, shipping rails.
During the visit of the brickyard, visitors discover traditional coal-fired techniques with handmade brickmaking skills and know-know from the beginning of the 20th century but also the working conditions of the labour force in the Vairet-Baudot establishments. Children can even learn more about the brickmaking process with a fun hands-on brickmaking session!