La Tour sur Orb
The road just south of La Tour-sur-Orb on the way to Bédarieux is called Avenue du Four À Chaux. From the road you see mainly new houses so you may be as surprised as I was to learn that this old lime oven still exists in the vicinity - and that it can be visited it during summer months.
The kiln was built in 1850 to supply lime for the construction of the nearby viaduct and other railway structures.
There were earlier lime ovens on the site, going back at least to 1828, but precisely where they were located is now not known for sure.
Aroal (?) of Lodève
This road, variously known as Grand Rue or Route de Lunas, is now called Avenue Lyon Caen. It must have been quite new at the time of this photo as it didn’t exist 70 years earlier when the Napoleonic maps were prepared. Note the lack of powerlines, shop names and advertising.
An aerial shot of the village. The location of the houses is clearly clustered on the Calade (the traditional access to the church?) and the historical circular boundary of the church (land from a time when perhaps the church was a monastery?)
Le Ruffas was a new town at the time (it doesn’t show on the Napoleonic maps of 1826) possibly established to house workers at the glassworks in the background. Unusually we have the names of two of the people in the photo, Casimir Commeignes, the man standing on the right (a businessman and postcard publisher) and his son Louis, the small child far left in the picture.
Le Bousquet d'Orb
The cross still remains, as does a “ghost” Boulangerie sign but sadly the tree has gone as has the pump wheel (on the wall to the right of the woman and child). Also, it seems that the name “Place de Vieux Bousquet” is no longer used. The road, Rue du Vieux Bousquet, covers what less than a century before was a stream (which was presumably the reason for Le Bousquet having been sited at this location.)
Le Pont d'Orb
“Les quatre chemins”
The postcard says Le Pont d’Orb but nowadays wouldn’t this area be described as Le Bousquet? Has the boundary of Le Pont d’Orb shrunk over the last century? These children are standing at what is now the corner of Avenue Jean Mejanel and Avenue Leon Astier.
Is this the oldest existing photo of Saint-Martin? No power poles are showing which dates the photo to pre-WWI. One can see the road to Le Bousquet and the Calade, but not the road that heads in the direction of Le Pont d’Orb. When was this part of the road built? Are those cows bottom right in the picture?