The Bell and Sheep Bell Museum
A most unique Museum
Musée de la Cloche et de la Sonnaille * Bell and Sheep Bell Museum
Tourism and disability mark for motor, mental and visual disabilities
Member of the network "Musées de territoire de l'Hérault"
The Museum, a vast vessel in raw concrete covered with a copper roof, presents, in a beautiful space of 1000m2, with air-conditioning, the various techniques of manufacture, as well as the uses and the sound environment of all the productions of the old foundry of bells, property of the family Granier since 1600: the copper cladded sheet Sheep bells of the pastoral world, the little spherical bells and the cowbells in melted metal and finally : the church bells.
Accessible from the Green Route Passa Païs - 3.5km from Lamalou les Bains, the museum is implanted on the site of the former train station of Hérépian, where a beautiful esplanade with tables and benches welcomes the guests and the walkers for a break in the shade of hackberries.
Educational above all, with particularly studied in acoustics, the Museum of Hérépian is unique.
A Museum accessible to all : mental, visual, physical disabilities.
The Museum is made of 4 parts :
- Manufacturing and use of sheep bells
- Manufacturing and use of little bells and little spherical bells
- Manufacturing and use of the church bell
- Symbolism and musicality of the bell in 6 pinacles and finally, room of the quadraphony
A museographic course, didactic, playful and interactive, at the same time !
In memory of gestures and traditions!
A Museum where you can see, touch, handle, ring and hear !
Opening times 2016:
From May to October
Open daily from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. except on Monday
Guided tours on reservation
Guided tours for groups all the year on reservation
Temporary exhibitions (free admission)
European Night of Museums: 21 may 2016
European Heritage Days: sptember 2016
- Adult: €5
- 7-18 and students: €4
- Under 7 free
- Disabled: €4.50 (production of proof)
- Family: €4 for adults and €2 between 7 and 18
The idea to create a Museum of the Bell and the Sheep Bell in Hérépian arose from the presence in the village of a foundry of bells stayed in the family Granier from 1600 till 1994.
Nailmakers since 1600 in St Laurent of the Nières in the Héraultais countryside, they later became ‘sonnaillers’ : sheep bell makers (or ‘esquilièrs ‘ in Occitan).
Around 1920, Joseph Granier built a new factory in Castanet le Bas, where water was more readily available and started producing little spherical bells.
In 1931, they decided to realize church bells having bought the necessary plans in Germany.
In 1970, the company, managed at the time, by François Granier, transfered gradually its activities to Hérépian in a more spacious and more accessible location.
At the time of its closure in 2011, it was the oldest foundry in France and the only one to make 3 sorts of bells: sheep bells used for the cattle, the little spherical bells and the cowbells in molten metal, and church bells.
So, in 1989, an ethnological and technical study was decided to record its knowledge.
This study (made by the Conseil Général de l’Hérault) allowed the realization of a movie and a report which led to the creation of the museum.
Finally, in 1998, after 9 years of search and work, the Museum of the Bell and the Sheep Bell opened its doors.