In the Eure, water has been flowing again into this dry wash house for almost 40 years

In the Eure, water has been flowing again into this dry wash house for almost 40 years
In the Eure, water has been flowing again into this dry wash house for almost 40 years

By

Pierre Boissonnat

Published on May 10, 2024 at 11:10 a.m.

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And the water gushed out again. Friday April 12, 2024, after a few weeks of work, the wash house located at Place de l’Abreuvoir in Gaillon (Eure) was put back in water.

“It’s a return to basics,” laughs Jean-Marc Rivoalfirst deputy mayor before the employees of Cohin Construction reopen the water passage.

“The underground stream is fed by the Saint-Jean spring and then arrives here via the Court-Moulin before joining the Seine,” explains the elected official. It was cut down in the mid-1980s, under the mandate of Maurice Maire to make this place an exhibition hall.

Since then, the mood has changed. With the opening of the art school, the artists found in the workshop a more suitable place than the washhouse to exhibit their works.

Three weeks of work

And, in these times of global warming, the City said to itself that it would be good to give some space back to water and blue frame in the program Small towns of tomorrow. “The Gaillonnais will once again be able to benefit from this island of freshness in the city center,” continues Jean-Marc Rivoal.

The work to renovate the Gaillon washhouse lasted 3 weeks. ©Cohin

“Our idea is to make the wash house and the square a place to host family and friendly events.”

Jean-Marc Rivoal, first deputy mayor of Gaillon

During the three weeks of work, employees of the Écardenville-sur-Eure construction company, specializing in water management, removed the slab, pumped and emptied the bottom of the washhouse before recreating a watertight basin and renovate its surroundings.

40 years later, the water is flowing again

And so on Friday April 12, at the beginning of the afternoon, the workers removed the plug which was preventing the waves from filling the basin before adapting the flow. After a few minutes, the pool was full for the first time in almost 40 years.

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“For us, it always means something to us to work on local heritage and even more so in Gaillon. It’s a bit like home, we often came to this square when we were kids with my brothers and my parents”

Julien Cohin, communications manager for the Cohin Construction group.

“When I was a kid, there were still washerwomen who came to wash clothes here with their washing machines. It brings back memories,” confides Alain Legras, municipal councilor.


The reopened and renovated washhouse will not fail to revive the memories of many long-time Gaillonnais. And to allow younger generations to reclaim this place full of history.

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