Grigny has a history . The village with its rural and wine-growing traditions, nestling on a hillside, was transformed from the end of the 19th century onwards, with the intensive extraction of sand and millstone.
It still bears traces of its past. A heritage trail through the village of Grigny to take you for a walk and relax…!
Grigny, a heritage tour
Grigny is a new town whose origins date back to the start of construction of the Grande Borne housing estate in 1967. But the origins of the village go back to the dawn of time…
For the Romans, Grignacum was a long-established settlement. A rural settlement dating from the 2nd to 4th centuries was discovered at the site known as l’Orme-Pomponne during excavation of the station in 1972. Remains of pottery, fragments of millstones, iron hardware and a Gallo-Roman statuette were unearthed.
During the first half of the 18th century (between 1730 and 1750), Guillaume-François Joly de Fleury, Lord of Grigny, had a new farm built to replace that of the seigniorial castle, which was located not far from the present-day Hôtel de Ville. In 1821, the farm and its grounds were purchased by the Duchess of Raguse, wife of Marshal Marmont, and then sold to the Countess of Rigny, chatelaine of Ris-Orangis.
In 1896, the property (200 hectares) was acquired by the Piketty company, which quarried the millstone until the early 1950s. The land was recultivated as and when the subsoil was exploited. Today, the new Grigny town centre is being built around the renovated Ferme Neuve, which is owned by the local authority.
When the Edict of Nantes was promulgated, Henry IV upheld the absolute ban on public worship in Paris and within 5 leagues of the capital. The court and the consistory therefore chose Grigny, a small village six leagues from Notre-Dame de Paris, on the side of a vine-covered hill, to host Protestant worship at Josias Mercier’s château, which was located at L’Orme du Bout, the site of today’s town hall.
In 1931, a town hall-school was built, as is still the case today in many communes. At the time, Grigny had a population of around one thousand. The town hall in the centre was flanked by the boys’ and girls’ schools. On either side are the village hall and, on the right, the municipal showers, now the school canteen.
These buildings are all made of local millstone. In 1963, following population growth, the school buildings were raised by one storey. In the early 1970s, the construction of a new town hall meant that the entire building could be used for schools.
In 1873, a building was constructed to house the washhouse and the fire pump. The washhouse, enclosed on all four sides, is fed by a large spring. The four-sloped roof (impluvium), revealing the central basin, collects rainwater and provides light. It is made up of three elements: the spatting basin, the main basin and the rinsing basin, which is not very common.
The washhouse was replaced by the washing machine in the early 1960s, and its walls still hold the memory of the countless confidences of the washerwomen.
On the first Sunday of every month, Grigny’s volunteer firefighters practise on the former Place des Marronniers, behind the washhouse. On the occasion of local festivals, they parade through the streets of the village and gather on 4 December to celebrate Sainte-Barbe, their patron saint.
Along the way, you’ll also discover another town hall and school on Rue du Clozeau, the presbytery, the old church and the former cemetery… A village charm that will leave you in awe.
Further information :
Mission municipale d’Histoire Locale et du Patrimoine
Parc St Lazare – 21 rue du Port, 91350 Grigny.
Téléphone: 01 69 43 99 53
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Numbers 07 2023
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