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Report - Carriere du Couvent / Saint Leu d'Esserent - June 2015

Discussion in 'Mines and Quarries' started by Garou Garou, Jun 18, 2015.

  1. Garou Garou

    Garou Garou 28DL Regular User
    Regular User

    Jun 8, 2012
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    Carriere du Couvent is a huge abandoned limestone mine near Saint Leu d'Esserent, North of Paris conveniently on the way to/from Calais. It's worth planning it into your next trip, along with a night at the great camp site next door where they have huge empty fields in a landscaped quarry site and encourage campfires.

    The Internet says the following about it's use as a V1 Flying Bomb depot during WW2:
    "Carriere du Couvent was used as a storage place for the V1, and also fuel, equipment for the launch of V1 and various chemicals needed to launch it. The German name is "Felmulag" and was one of 12 in France. This storage place was a key node for transport of the V1 by rail between the place of manufacture,
    Dora to the various sites launching these devices. 70% of V1s have transited through Saint Leu d'Esserent. The explosive charge was placed at Saint Leu before sending on the different launch sites.85% of this city and environs were destroyed by allied aircraft during the Crosbow operation."
    - Gerhcas.com

    The entrance is the obvious one if you do your map research. Looking at the map, it is colour coded in different sections, which seem to correspond to parts of the carrieres mined in different stages with different levels of industrialisation. All of it is the type of mine you can drive a truck through. The further parts are about 20m high, cut into huge blocks, some of which they left lined up ready to remove. It starts off black and grotty, having had some big fires nearer to the entrance. Follow the major roadways north to find the big impressive parts nearer to the far end.

    The is some evidence of German occupation in the form of signs and the defensive bunker outside, but we didn't find anything relating to the V1 / V2 facility described on some web sites. There are some nice remains of power distribution equipment down the far end and some old vehicles. Aim for the room labelled "squat" at the far end, which is a scenic location for food / drink. Hammocks would be good here too if you would rather sleep under rock than stars.

    Navigation is interesting. Take a compass because you will get lost. The roadways get a bit maze-like, so leaving markers is a good tip.

    The Map:

    Since finding this better map, I see there is a route labelled "route touristique". Might be worth checking out.





    5. The "Squat des bouffons qui mettent le feu"



    7. The entrance to the orange section.



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  2. Garou Garou

    Garou Garou 28DL Regular User
    Regular User

    Jun 8, 2012
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  3. Oxygen Thief

    Oxygen Thief Admin
    Staff Member Admin

    Oct 17, 2005
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    You didn't see the German road names? And yes to getting lost in here, wish I took a compass, must have gone in a mile long loop three or four times.
  4. The Kwan

    The Kwan Easily Led
    Regular User

    Mar 28, 2011
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    Enjoyed reading this report mate, fascinating to say the least. Thanks for sharing it.
  5. The Franconian

    The Franconian 28DL Regular User
    Regular User

    Nov 8, 2012
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    what have we done wrong ?
    just been in this mine for a few hours and not seen this interesting places you show here.
    we must have turned around somewhere, thinking we're already at the end.
    some streetnames and big rockfalls, that is what we got. I think we made only half of the quarry
    must go back
    thanks for your report
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