Photographer's Note

First in a short series of pictures taken inside the Lavoir du Loubeau in Melle, Deux-Sèvres.

The Lavoir du Loubeau is the first known lavoir in Melle. It dates back back to 1793 when the women washed the linen directly in the river, the Beronne .

The current basin goes back to 1814. In 1937 the town hall decided to add a roof and a chimney to it to improve comfort of the washer women. Water is collected from the river through a basin built in semicircle, the latter supplies the washing basin. Its characteristic lies in its roof, which is open over the top of the basin.

A restoration campaign took place in 2004-2005, directed by an architect and craftsmen recognized by the Historic buildings. The materials used were soil, sand, lime, the calcareous stone and the chestnut wood for the frame.

The above is taken and freely translated from the Petit Patrimoine web site (

As you may imagine the lighting conditions in this picture were rather complex, resulting in some hot-spots in the final image. I hope this does not spoil your enjoyment of the picture too much. A stitch of two photographs in order to include as much of the reflection as possible.

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Additional Photos by Stephen Nunney (snunney) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 9270 W: 63 N: 26116] (115471)
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