Picking at the Bones
Usine de Senelle
Located in Longwy, Meurthe-et-Moselle France
Photo © 2007 Tom Kirsch, opacity.us
Usine de Senelle History
The site of the former Senelle works lies within the Longwy-Bas district of Longwy - this scarred valley holds only the remnants of what was once an enormous steel mill. The history of metal-production in this region begins with "la forge du Hollé" which was constructed in the fifteenth century, and even had a blast furnace in the sixteenth century until it was abandoned in 1563.
Steel production returns to the area in 1863 when a wooden blast furnace was constructed; by the late 1800s it had expanded across the valley with three blast furnaces. At the time of the first world war, five furnaces were running, and a sixth was ignited in August 1960. During this time, the plant had a production capacity of 80,000 tons of iron each month. Furnace #1 was shut off in 1963, #3 and #4 in 1977, and the last furnace was decommissioned in 1987. On July 19th, 1991, the mill was destroyed with dynamite; all that remains are a few large components and the crucible from a single blast furnace in the middle of a field.
Interesting postcards from the Senelle works
Photographs of the furnaces shortly before and during demolition