French Commune
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Bolbec is a commune in the Seine-Maritime department in the Haute-Normandie region in northern France. Its inhabitants are called Bolb├ęcais or Bolb├ęcaises.


A farming, quarrying and light industrial town situated at the heart of three valleys in the Pays de Caux, some northeast of Le Havre. It is the source of the river Commerce, though here it is known as the river Bolbec. The town has many small lanes (ruelles) with some pretty houses.


The first written record of the town dates from the end of the 11th century, as Bolebec. Archeological discoveries indicate that the site has been inhabited since ancient times. The first lord of Bolbec was Osbern de Bolbec (around 992) and the last was the Duc de Charost who was executed during the French revolution.

Bolbec developed thanks to the numerous mills which lined the river banks through the town. These mills, numbering 14 in the middle of the 19th century, allowed the development of a textile industry based on water power, and later steam, to power the machinery.

Today, only three mills remain: one at the source of the river in the grounds of the Oril factory; one at Vallot; and one in the Ruelle Papavoine.

At the end of the 18th century, a number of manufacturers installed themselves at Bolbec to produce "Indiennes" (printed textiles). On the eve of the Revolution, Bolbec had 18 factories. In 1806, there were 27 producing Indiennes employing nearly 800 workers.

The importance of textiles in the...
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