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Report - Herblay-Conflans quarry and Mushroom bed


28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
Hey guys,
On my return to france to visit my family, I visited my cousin who is a proven "cataphile" and we had our first family descent :)
he brought me to a nice place close to his.

A bit of history
Thanks to Rue Des Lumières for the history and the map, for those who can read french and are interested in a detailed story you should have a look, its more detailed than the partial translation I give below, for the others, have a look anyway as their pictures are fantastic.

On with the history:
This quarry streches below the towns of Herblay and Conflans in the west of Paris, it was first exploited in the 17th century and remained on a traditional basis until the 18th century, when after a royal interdiction to create new quarries in paris (1776) its exploitation boomed.
The soaring exploitation was also due to the discovery of the "banc royal" (royal bed) a fine and quite resistant limestone that was used throughout Paris in the 19th century.
in 1844 there was 7 underground quarries and 7 open-air quarries, with a total of 40 workers
in 1861: 37 quarries

Due to the presence of the Seine close by (the entrance is 100 yards away from it) quarriers couldn't go as deep as they would have want, to they exploited the upper parts of the quarries, so the ceiling was quite thin and fragile, hence the numerous pilars.
and in many places some pillars are beginning to split... i'm afraid some of these days a couple of quarries will collapse.

Mushroom exploitation started in the end of the 19th century and continued until around 1995, mushroom farmers gave the tunnels all the names that are visible now (cf pic )

the most interesting part of the tunnel is only open to visit every weekend (I'll be back for it), it comprises many archways. Anyway it is shut from the part we've visited,

map of the quarry
our explore was only from the right side of this map (and we spent a good 6hours down there)

1. entrance with a very decorative watering can

2. a retention basin drain the quite wet tunnels

3. bit of a failed attempt at lightpainting i'm afraid... was nice to see them try though hehe :popcorn

4. Don't let go of that pilar Quentin or everything collapses... allright we'll see you later pal

5. it took him a couple of pics to figure out he shouldnt come in front of the camera with the head-torch on...
anyway good exemple of the kind of pilars that are to be found there


7. hat painting

8. A goode aulde western pose

9. That lightsaber is a fucking ripoff thought Luke

10. quite cramped, not more than 4,5ft, these would be passages dug to ventilate the mushroom beds


12.bath time

13. some galleries were used as rubbish dump, obviously.. still good to see those old fridges though

We ended up finding a couple of small rooms obviously used for parties, one of them containing a star wars rebel fighter toy which I couldn't resist rescuing, nerds will be nerds after all!

and finally, irrelevant though it may be, it would be unfair to end this report without a declaration of love to my Lense P14 "Karibou lite" which has been lighting up my nights for a couple of months now and which i've been loving since day one :eek:

thanks fot looking!