Musée de l'Ardoise et de la Géologie

Musée de l'Ardoise - Musée de l'Ardoise à Renazé

Useful Information

Location: Longchamps, 53800 Renazé.
(47.794513, -1.040373)
Open: JUL to AUG Wed-Fri, Sun, Hol 14:30-16:30.
Fee: Adults EUR 5, Children (8-16) EUR 2.50, Children (0-7) free.
Classification: MineSlate Mine
Light: LightIncandescent Electric Light System
Guided tours: Français - French English Deutsch - German
Photography: allowed
Accessibility: no
Address: Musée de l'Ardoise et de la Géologie, Longchamp, 53800 Renazé, Tel: +33-243-06-40-14. 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.


1936 Longchamp shaft sunken.
1941 headfame installed.
1975 slate qurry closed.



The Musée de l'Ardoise et de la Géologie (Slate and Geology Museum) is located in an abandoned slate quarry named Ancienne Ardoisière de Longchamps (Former Longchamps slate quarry). It is also simply called Musée de l'Ardoise (Slate Museum), which is The quarry was closed in 1975, and the former quarry workers created the museum to keep the memory alive. Slate was mined in this area since the Middle Ages. This area is called the Anjou, and has several places where slate is found, other quarryies existed in Noyant-la-gravoyère in Haut-Anjou, and in Trélazé near Angers.

The workers in the slate mine were called perreyeurs or perreyeux, a local name which is not translatable. On the site is a headframe of the shaft where the slate was mined underground. Slate is destroyed by weathering on the surface, so the slate which is mined underground is of much higher quality. But the massive manual work which was necessary to cut the slate into thin plates, then into the right size, and finally to drill a hole at the right location, was done on the surface. It was warmer here, and there was daylight, and so the work was easier than underground. This work is demonstrated by the volunteers. The quarry is in the state it was during the 18th and 19th century. There is a reconstructed miner's house, a geological exhibition explaining local, regional and national geology. The Renazé deposit is part of the Armorican massif. The machine room can be visited, also a collection of trolleys and mining tools.

The shaft is called Longchamp Shaft, the headframe is one of the last which still exist in the Renazé Basin. The shaft was dug in 1936. The 22-m-high steel-headframe was built by the Venot-Peslin company from Onnaing (North) in 1926, and then installed on the Brémadière shaft in Trélazé. In 1941, it was dismantled then installed here at Longchamp. Despite being an industrial building, the creators made some effort to add some decorative elements, like the Saint-Adré cross of the balustrades and thin semicircular rods in the upper part. All the buildings were constructed with an iron frame and brickwork.