Musée de la Mine de Bosmoreau

Useful Information

Location: 28 rue Mairie, 23400 Bosmoreau-Les-Mines.
(46.001851, 1.757546)
Open: APR to JUN daily 14-18, after appointment.
Easter holidays-All Saints holidays, JUL to AUG daily 14-18:30.
SEP to OCT daily 14-18, after appointment.
European Patrimony Days, Sta, Sun 14-18:30.
Fee: Adults EUR 6, Children (6-12) EUR 3, Children (0-5) free.
Groups (10+): Adults EUR 5.
Classification: MineCoal Mine SubterraneaReplica Underground Mine
Light: LightIncandescent Electric Light System
Guided tours: V=4,980/a [2013]
Photography: allowed
Accessibility: no
Address: Musée de la Mine, 28 rue Mairie, 23400 Bosmoreau-Les-Mines, Tel: +33-5-55-64-20-52, Tel: +33-6-08-89-67-11. E-mail:
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
Please check rates and details directly with the companies in question if you need more recent info.


1765 anthracite discovered by Jeanne Bouteille, who accidentally stumbled upon a black rock in the village of Chez Lamay.
1784 first coal mine opened, with the allocation of a first concession to Mr. Faure, a native of Cosnac.
1958 coal mine closed.
06-DEC-2003 museum inaugurated.


The Bosmoreau basin is a small mining basin located in the west of the French department of Creuse. The coal is of very high quality, it is anthrazite.


Musée de la Mine de Bosmoreau (Bosmoreau Mining Museum) shows the history of coal mining and the lives of miners from 1784 to 1958 The mining museum uses seven rooms of the town hall and the old village school. At the beginning, the local farmers started to dig wells to mine the coal. They sold it for heating and for local blacksmiths, and they used it themselves. The large scale coal mining started with the porcelain makers of Limoges, which created a porcelain factory which used the local coal for heating their ovens. Like all other coal mines, the distribution of the coal, which has a rather low value compared to its volume and weight, was the main obstacle. This changed with the arrival of the raiklroad, which was both means of transport and consumer. During World War II the coal was mined in a massive open-cast mine on a huge scale. Coal was important for the war efforts. Nevertheless, coal mining ended rather fast after the war, when coal was replaced by other energy sources like oil and nuclear power. Mining ended as early as 1958, only 13 years after the war.

The museum shows remains from the whole coal mining history, with lanterns, tools and documents. There are models, miniature set-ups, and explanations by enthusiasts. The last stop of the tour is an old classroom from the 1900s, because the museum is located partly in the former school building. The museum was created with funding by the municipality of Bosmoreau les Mines, the General Council of Creuse, the Community of Municipalities Bourganeuf-Royère, the Regional Council of Limousin and the State. It is a municipal museum, managed by the non-profit Association des Amis du Musée (Friends of the Museum). As it is only 20 years old, it is rather young, many other mining museums are created when the mine closes, here was a gap of almost 50 years. It was obviously not easy to collect all the items which are on display.

The museum has 7 rooms, and the entrance section with the ticket office, a souvenir shop and a bar. Drinks can be consumed inside this foyer, or, weather permitting, in the shaded courtyard of the museum. It also has miners' lamps, a coal cart, and samples of anthracite produced in this mine. Some hangers from the hanging room and the list of all the owners and concessionaires are located on the landing. The flag of the Bosmoreau Miners' Union and the statue of Saint Barbara, the patron saint of the miners, lead us to the first room. Room 1 has original documents and the first photos of the mine dating from 1890. A main topic is the arrival of the railroad in the heart of the colliery in 1884, and there are numerous models of the mines and the technology. Room 2 shows the open pit mine from 1943 to 1958. Washhouses improve the quality of the coal, huge trucks transport the coal, the mine is more rational and effective, the jobs of the miners change. Room 3 is dedicated to the miners who died from firedamp, accidents, silicosis. There is a complete list of names of miners who worked in 1921 at the Marthe pit and in 1947 at the open pit mine. Room 4 is the reconstruction of the kitchen of the mine. Room 5 has four magnificent models, the mining site, the La Lande mine in 1905, the Chez Lameix open pit mine (1948–1952) and the coal processing center at the La Lande site in 1950. Room 6 shows railway lamps and photographs of the Compagnie du Paris-Orléans, Room 7 is the reconstruction of the classroom in 1900. A seam of coal on the wall guides the visitors from one room to the next.

There are two marked hiking routes of 2 km and 6 km length which lead to the external mining sites. They were rehabilitated and there are educational signs along the trails. The circuit jaune (yellow circuit) shows the mine between 1855 and 1958, and circuit rouge (red circuit) gives a complete view of the activities of the Bosmoreau mines. Unlike the museum, the trails are accessible without restrictions. The museum is open only during the Summer and on the Heritage Days, in spring and autumn its possible to book a tour for groups.