Maison du Mineur Grand-Combe

Useful Information

Location: Rue Victor Fumat, Vallée Ricard, 30110 La Grand-Combe.
(44.2208509, 4.0344966)
Open: FEB to JUN Tue-Sun, Hol, 9-12, 14-17:30.
JUL to AUG daily 10-18.
SEP to 17-DEC Tue-Sun, Hol, 9-12, 14-17:30.
Last entry 90 min before closing.
Fee: Adults EUR 6, Children (6-14) EUR 4, Children (0-5) free.
Groups (+): Adults EUR 4.
Classification: MineCoal Mine
Light: LightIncandescent Electric Light System
Dimension: VR=801 m.
Guided tours: D=90 min.
Photography: allowed
Accessibility: yes
Address: Maison du Mineur Grand-Combe, Rue Victor Fumat, Vallée Ricard, 30110 La Grand-Combe, Tel: +33-466-34-28-93. E-mail:
Alès Agglomeration, ATOME Building, 2 rue Michelet, 30105 Alès Cédex, Tel: +33-466-78-89-00. 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.


1932-1935 Puits Ricard sunk.
1935 mine starts production.
1978 mine closed.
1989 Association “Friends of the Miner’s Museum” founded.
1993 opened as a show mine.
2008 site declared a Historical Monument.
2017 site managed by the Alès Agglomeration.


The Cévenol Mining Basin is a sedimentary basin with mesozoic sediments, similar to all other such basins in Europe. The Carbon age sediments contain numerous coal seams which were mined underground. The anthracite coal has a very high grade of coalification, it is hard, black and consists of almost pure carnon.


Maison du Mineur (Miner's House) is a coal mine in the Cevennes coal mining basin, the exhibition is in the former mine shower building. The shower room is very high, and there are chains that were used by the miners to hang their clothes and pull them up to the ceiling, a quite common alternative to lockers in mining. Nearby is the Ricard shaft, the headframe is classified as a historic monument, and the drum of the extraction machine is unique in Europe. The site is open most of the year, which is exceptional, as most show mines are closed during winter. Its also wheelchair accessible, which is a result of the lack of an underground tour. The museum is located on the surface in the former mine buildings.

The mining boomed during the industrial revolution in the second half of the 19th century. It was the technical development which allowed the mining, provided a means of transport, and also created the demand. However, at that time, many mines used mine trains to access the coal layers. The Puits Ricard was sunk between 1932 and 1935, and was 801 m deep. It was created by the Compagnie des Mines de La Grand Combe in cooperation with the Chemins de Fer de Gard with the goal to mine the Ricard anthracite coal, which was known for some time, but before the technology to mine this deep was not existing. It was the deepest shaft in the area, until the sinking of Destival in Alès with a depth of 822 m. The temperature was 45 °C despite weathering, and high amounts of explosive gas made the mining quite dangerous. The Ricard shaft was named after Joseph Ricard was the main shareholder of the above companies 100 years before the shaft was sunk. The mine was nationalized in 1946, and so the different mines were merged, and it was operated until the coal crisis of the 1970s. Finally, cheaper coal from the world market made the mine unprofitable.