Brickmakers, tilemakers and the sandstone
The raw material was available in the village. The clay ground had the right composition for the manufacturing of bricks or roof tiles. Sandstone was also an extracted matter.
The clayey land extracted in the village was mixed with water. The bricks were shaped in the brick press.
The work was to put the clay mixture in the molds. Then, you had to activate the machine to squeeze the land.
After that, the bricks were stored in the open air, under shelter, several days to dry.
For the firing, the bricks were placed on the ground, stacked on several levels on which was added coal to bake them. It took a long time (even several hours). This method has been used by the last generation of Vignacourt' brickmakers.
"La Brique Picarde" (the Picardy brick) was the name of one of the companies that were present after the 1st World War. There is a street called 'Briqueterie" (brickyard) where one of the workshops was located.
Local wall with bricks made in Vignacourt.
THE ROOF TILES
The roof tiles manufacturing is an older activity. The easily flammable thatched roofs will give way to roofs in tiles after the French revolution.
These terracotta tiles were made with the local land. This moist clay was kneaded, molded and then fired. The dimensions of the roof tiles were not standardized in the beginning, it depended on the mold used. The roof tiles of Vignacourt had the reputation of being well-fired tiles.
Before the first world war, there were more than ten people practicing the job of brickmaker. For tilemakers, it was older.
Wooden framework of a local barn with traditional roof tiles.
EXPLOITATION OF THE SANDSTONE
Sandstone was exploited in our land and especially in the quarries in the forest. It was used for paving some streets' cities, fortifications towers, bridges. (the bedrock of Amiens cathedral).
The transport was done by horse and cart at that time to join regional cities. The most important period of activity was the 14th and 15th centuries.