Malaunay, Carreau des mines de fer, 35620 Teillay.
At the southern border of Brittany. From Rennes follow N137 south, at Bain-de-Bretagne turn left on D777, then right on D772 to Teillay, left on D257 towards Soulvache, right on Mine de la Brutz road.
Mid-JUN to mid-OCT Thu 14, Sat, Sun 14, 16:15.
Adults EUR 8, Children (12-18) EUR 4, Children (0-11) free, Students EUR 4, Unemployed EUR 4.
Groups (10+): Adults EUR 5, Children (12-18) EUR 2, Children (0-11) free, Students EUR 2, Unemployed EUR 2.
|Light:||Incandescent Electric Light System|
|Guided tours:||D=90 min.|
A. BRULE (1988):
Mineurs de Bretagne
Skol Vreizh, Morlaix, décembre 1988, 11, 96 p.
|Address:||Musée des Mines de la Brutz, Carreau des mines de fer, 35620 Teillay, Tel: +33-699-59-58-91, Cell: +33-677-79-45-61. E-mail: 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.
|1912||first shaft built.|
|1920||Teillay concession created.|
|1952||mine closed after a fire.|
|1994||developed by mining enthusiasts of the “Villages et Patrimoines entre Loire et Vilaine” association.|
The Musée des Mines de la Brutz (Brutz Mining Museum) is located in Teillay in Brittany. The iron mines were operated in the first half of the 20th century. Actually, the prospecting of the ore in the communes of Teillay and Soulvache happened in 1912 by the Compagnie Générale des mines de fer de Bretagne. The first well was dug at Mainguais by an Alsatian company in February 1912. The first mine tunnel, the galerie de travers-banc (cross-bench gallery) was dug in the same year. The exploration continued for some years and five other reconnaissance wells were dug, for example at Reboursière, at Claray in Teillay, near Launay, and north of Malaunay. But then World War I interrupted the mining. In 1920 the Concession de Teillay (Teillay Concession) was created and mining finally started. The mine was opened by Établissements J.J.Carnaud and Forges de Basse-Indre. There were actually three shafts, Sainte-Barbe in Teillay, Sainte-Marie in Soulvache, and La Reboursière in Rougé. They were connected underground. Soon the mine employed 300 people and produced 50,000 to 60,000 tonnes of iron ore per year. In 1923 the main workers' town called Bonne-Fontaine, was built. But in the late 1940 the quality of the ore declined, while the galleries were getting deeper and deeper and the cost of water extraction exploded. The mine was not very profitable, and a fire the electrical supply gallery of the pumping station at the bottom finally caused the closure of the site in 1952. As the pumps were without power the mine flooded immediately, and reopening would have been unprofitable.
The site has a mining museum which is located in the former ore house, which was used for sorting ore with a magnetic drum. The surrounding grounds show various railway tracks and mine trains. One of the trains is still operational and on open days brings visitors to the second site of the museum, the Babcock and Wilcox boiler, listed as a Historic Monument, of which only two remain in France. The boiler was built in 1937, to power the power station. However, the boiler on display is not the one which operated the mine. Another Historic Monument is the Schneider-Westinghouse electric shunter, which is also on display. The ore house shows a series of naive murals which were painted by German prisoners of war during World War II, they were employed in the mines, and this building was used as a dormitory for some time. The murals show naked women in different settings with German comments.
The museum has tools and documents of the mining past. There is also the reconstruction of a work scene, a sort of mine replica. It is also possible to visit a part of the Sainte-Barbe gallery, which is horizontal and thus quite easy to visit. The lower parts of the mine are flooded by groundwater and inaccessible.
The museum is operated by Bretagne porte de Loire, the communal government of the surrounding villages. The open hours are somewhat strange, the site is open from late June to the Heritage Days in October. For some reason, there are no tours on the Heritage Days, the tours on Thursdays are currently not offered, and there is only one tour daily on weekends. But there are several quite different times given for the tours, probably a result of Covid restrictions. For this reason, we strongly recommend to contact the operators before your visit.