Felleries is a small town in the east of the Avenois national park area.
We passed through quite a few of these kinds of towns but had such a good time in Felleries we thought it was worth writing about.
The eco museum
Felleries is one of a few towns in the area with an ‘eco museum’ to give visitors an idea of the crafts they’re known for.
Felleries is famous for woodworking and its museum is both excellent and amazing value. For just 4 euros you get a:
- walk round the museum to see the history
- demonstration of the watermill grinding wheat into flour
- bit where you have to guess types of wood by smell alone
- demonstration of wood-turning on a lathe
The water mill
The mill’s dam had 3 gates in it. 1 to control the main flow of the river and 2 more for the waterwheels in the mill.
When either of these gates was opened, water flooded onto the corresponding wheel. The water pressure pushed the wheel round.
A shaft connected to the axle of the waterwheel turns a millstone against another static one. Grain is fed in between and the resulting flour falls out into sacks.
Here’s a video of one of the waterwheels turning (2.8MB). You won’t be able to see the millstones but near the end, you can see some of the flour coming out into a sack.
Smell my wood
We got to have a go at a game where you had to guess types of wood by smelling them.
We guessed 3 out of 10 which sounds rubbish but we were told it was quite good. It was clearly rubbish though.
The wood-turning demonstration was amazing. Using only a lathe and a bandsaw, our guide and resident wood-turning expert, started with a bit of branch and ended up with a wooden mushroom in just a few minutes.
Here’s a video of him halfway through (1.7MB):
You also get to take the result away with you. Here’s our one. We love it.
A brilliant lady named Sylvie runs the municipal campsite where we stayed. When we checked in she explained what made it so cool.
It used to be a train station
Opposite the campsite reception is this building that used to be the ticket hall of a train station.
Here’s what it used to look like.
(Image taken from this amazing page about the history of the train station.)
The tracks are long gone so you have to visualise what it used to look like but you can still make out the edge of the platform. It also turns out the campsite’s reception building used to be a shelter for passengers.
Sylvie said the ghost of the train sometimes passes through late at night…
There are sculptures all around
A local artist created sculptures for the campsite which you can see around the grounds.
Jenny the elephant
There’s a sculpture of local celebrity Jenny the elephant (blog post on this soon) near the entrance.
The sculpture is made of wicker and iron, among other things and took hours of work to complete.
The lost head
On the way out we heard the village is about to close for a few days to stage a show called “To lose your head” comprising 10 performances and asking the audience to find the missing head of a murder victim.
Amazing… what a place! We were sad to leave.