Lace making and metalwork are just two of the crafts that were once practised in Villedieu-les-Poêles in Normandy. The town is most famous for copper and a number of shops today sell a wide range of copper items. Brass and pewter were also worked here while pot makers, tanners, coppersmiths, salt merchants, lace makers, spinners, embroiders and bell makers were some of the artisans who worked in the many courtyards around the town.
The Metalwork Museum and Lace Making Museum (Musée de la Poëslerie and Maison de la Dentellière) can be found in the picturesque courtyard La Cour du Foyer which dates from Medieval times. At one time, Villedieu was a thriving town for craftsmen and women. Many of these crafts are no longer practised yet the history behind them can be seen as you walk around the town.
Behind most of these doors , the history of lace making and metalwork is revealed. There are six rooms in total where you can discover the history of copper smithing and metalwork in Villedieu-les-Poêles as well as lace making. There’s also a lacemaking exhibition, a lacemaking demonstration and you can try your hand at learning this skill on a large lacemaker’s board.
You can also learn about the history of the town and how land donated by Henry 1st to a religious order became what is now known as Villedieu. A dwelling has also been replicated to demonstrate how life was lived by these artisans. Pots, pans and other items in the various metals are also displayed.
The museums are in the Cour du Foyer, 25 rue Général Huard in Villedieu. Usually they’re open from the beginning of April to the end of September although this year that may extend through to October. Opening times are 10am – 12.30pm and then 2 – 6pm. It costs 5€ for adults, 22 for children aged 10 – 18 and those under 10 go free. More information is on the museum website.Let's be social
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