The 7 villages


Baudour has traces of the Palaeolithic era, of the Gauls and the Roman period. There are other distinctive features in the village: the Maison de Ligne and its castle which in the past used to be located in the park, the porcelain industry, as well as the exploitation of the ferruginous mineral source, discovered in the 18th century. Baudour wood spans 324 ha and is ideal for rambles and walking.


A neo-gothic Church, a convent for Franciscan nuns, a 19th century bandstand and a town square surrounded by linden trees all enhance the rural nature of Hautrage. The wealth of the land rich in coal contributed to its development. Coal was exploited from the 13th century, as well as sand and plastics which were for refractory businesses.
Blood was spilled on many occasions. On 17 July 1572, during a battle between the French and Spanish, at the Champ de l’Alouette resulting in 2,200 deaths. And again, in September 1914, as well as during the Second World War, when not far from here many English and German soldiers met their deaths.


Following the clearing of the old coal forest from the middle ages, the "neuves maisons" – or new houses – were to give rise to the primarily agricultural village of Neufmaison. Still today, at the foot of the 18th century steeple, there are some lovely farms with the traditional square and rectangular yards, with a dovecote tower. The Cortège des Manous and the Saint-Charalampe cult – protector of herds – today remind us of the primary vocation of this now residential village.


The town of Saint-Ghislain owes its name to Ghislain, an Athenian monk who, as the legend goes, was guided by a bear and an eagle and constructed an abbey on the land offered by the good King Dagobert.
The town took root within the shadow of the abbey and survived sieges, fires and epidemics sometimes faring better than others.
The revolution marked the downfall of the feudal reign and, with it the power of the monks. The abbey disappeared along with the primary source of wealth for the town. However, prosperity was to return following the creation of the Nimy-Blaton canal and the inauguration of the railway between Mons and Quiévrain.
Although the town was spared by the ravages of the First World War, on 1 May 1944, allied planes bombed Saint-Ghislain so as to destroy the marshalling yard. As a result, 50% of the town was destroyed. The old Church tower still stands in the heart of the rebuilt town as a memory of the tragedy.


Saltus Cerasea – or the village in the cherry orchard – was already known to the Romans who discovered the clay in the land when constructing the roads linking Condé-Chièvres and Bavay-Gand. Tombs, money, urns and the famous "tergulaë" – rectangular tiles – were unearthed. It was almost certainly the Romans who built the first pannerie in Sirault.
Tileries or panneries – which have today disappeared – represented the largest industry in the area. In 1833, they numbered 18 and in 1890 this figure was doubled. The division of land due to inheritances, as well as consolidation of the land radically modified the Sirault landscape which became an agricultural village.


As a former hamlet of Badour, Tertre gained independence in 1883. The refractory industry and coal-mining were behind its demographic expansion. One of the Escoyez castles, named after the industrialist and former Mayor, is the home of the current Town Hall.


The Villerot presbytery, located within the shadow of the Church, was constructed by monks from the Saint-Ghislain abbey, in the heart of lands destined for agriculture or the refractory industry. A vast complex today hosts chemical factories.

Responsible for this website : town of Saint-Ghislain
City Council : rue de Chièvres, 17 – 7333 Saint-Ghislain (Tertre)
Phone : + 32 (0)65 76 19 00 – Fax : + 32 (0)65 76 20 00 – Mal :