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Title: Grand-Laviers  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Communes of the Somme department, Arrondissement of Abbeville
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia



Coordinates: 50°07′51″N 1°47′05″E / 50.1308°N 1.7847°E / 50.1308; 1.7847Coordinates: 50°07′51″N 1°47′05″E / 50.1308°N 1.7847°E / 50.1308; 1.7847

Country France
Region Picardy
Department Somme
Arrondissement Abbeville
Canton Abbeville-Nord
Intercommunality Abbevillois
 • Mayor (2001–2008) Jean-Michel Mouret
 • Land1 9.5 km2 (3.7 sq mi)
Population (2006)
 • Population2 395
 • Population2 density 42/km2 (110/sq mi)
INSEE/Postal code 80385 / 80132
Elevation 2–67 m (6.6–219.8 ft)
(avg. 7 m or 23 ft)

1 French Land Register data, which excludes lakes, ponds, glaciers > 1 km² (0.386 sq mi or 247 acres) and river estuaries.

2 Population without double counting: residents of multiple communes (e.g., students and military personnel) only counted once.

Grand-Laviers is a commune in the Somme department in Picardie in northern France.


The commune is situated on the D40 road, some 3 miles (5 km) northwest of Abbeville, by the banks of the canalised river Somme. The ancient forests of Abbeville remain as woods on the hills to the west of the village.


The Latin names Latverum[1] or Laverum[2] appear in the year 881 in the records of the abbey of Saint-Vaast at Amiens. Controversy surrounds the meaning of the name: « lavoir » according to some, « arm of a river » according to others. In 882, when the Normans sacked the abbey at Saint-Quentin, the king Carloman II of France, set up his camp at Laviers to block their passage to the sea.

In the 11th century, a fort comprising a palisade on a motte was built at Laviers,[3] on a point jutting out towards the bay.
In 1137, Abbeville’s charter, granted by the Comte de Ponthieu mentioned « Laveriœ » In 1177, Jean de Ponthieu gave money to the leper hospital of the frères du Val and the gift of a forest was noted. The clearing of an area of the forest now known as the "Valley of the Lepers", between Laviers and Buigny-Saint-Maclou may have started up as early as 1164. In 1696, the leper hospital was finally closed down.

In 1777, after a branch of the Somme was blocked at Saint-Valery-sur-Somme, the authorities decided to build a canal from Abbeville to the estuary at Saint Valery. Work began in 1786 but hit problems in 1793 with the installation of the sluice-gates in the muddy sub-strata and above all, the reaction of the local farmers, raising sheep and cattle on the salt-marshes. Work resumed under the orders of Napoleon Bonaparte in 1802, who wanted Saint-Valéry-sur-Somme as a war-port. In 1810, Spanish prisoners worked on the terracing and the maritime canal was inaugurated in 1827.
In 1840, Laviers took the name of Grand-Laviers and from 1845 to 1850, the railway line from Abbeville to Étaples was built, a section of the Paris – Boulogne line. The river bed of the Somme was filled and moved to accommodate the construction.
The town was comparatively safe during the First World War, accommodating Indian colonial assistants.
In May 1940, during the Second World War, the town was separated from Abbeville. It was liberated by English troops in August 1944.
In 1953, a primary school was constructed at Grand-Laviers, and the following year, the pupils of the school inherited a castle from the Jusancourt family that now houses an educational medical institute.
On May 2, 1976, the commune of Petit-Laviers was amalgamated with Grand-Laviers.


Historical population of Grand-Laviers
Year 1962196819751982199019992006
Population 246356351395423372395
From the year 1962 on: population without double counting—residents of multiple communes (e.g. students and military personnel) are counted only once.

Places of interest

  • Bonance woods.
  • fifteenth century church
  • The ruins of a 13th century chapel which belonged to an old friary hospital.

See also



External links

  • Grand-Laviers on the Quid website (French)
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