Querrieu: Wikis


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Coordinates: 49°56′22″N 2°25′53″E / 49.93944°N 2.431389°E / 49.93944; 2.431389

Commune of Querrieu

Querrieu (vu d'avion).jpg
Paris plan pointer b jms.svg
Map highlighting the commune of
Country France
Region Blason région fr Picardie.svg Picardie
Department Blason département fr Somme.svg Somme
Arrondissement Amiens
Canton Villers-Bocage
Intercommunality Le Bocage et l'Hallue
Mayor Francine Briault
Elevation 32–104 m (100–340 ft)
(avg. 40 m/130 ft)
Land area1 10.03 km2 (3.87 sq mi)
Population2 698  (2006)
 - Density 70 /km2 (180 /sq mi)
INSEE/Postal code 80650/ 80115
1 French Land Register data, which excludes lakes, ponds, glaciers > 1 km² (0.386 sq mi or 247 acres) and river estuaries.
2 Population sans doubles comptes: residents of multiple communes (e.g., students and military personnel) only counted once.

Querrieu is a commune in the Somme department in Picardie in northern France.



Situated on the D 929 road[1], some 7 miles (11 km) northeast of Amiens, on the banks of the Hallue river[2]. Bordered by Fréchencourt on the north, Pont-Noyelles on the east, Bussy-lès-Daours on the south and Allonville on the west[3].

Valley of the river Hallue, between Querrieu and Bussy-lès-Daours



Henri IV battle

After the fall of Amiens invaded by Spanish Netherlanders on March 11 1597, Henri IV besieged the town with a considerable army. On August 29, being informed of the approach of a Spanish troop of four arquebuse-men companies and three hundred horses, protecting a supplies convoy, the King, early in the morning, left his camp situated in the north of Amiens, accompanied by Biron, de Lagrange-Montigny, the count of Auvergne, and moved forward to the enemies. At about 9 a.m. being in front of an escort of fifty men, he caught sight of scout enemies coming out of Querrieu wood. He started his horse off at a full gallop, followed by his little troop. The Spanish escort, surprised, believing in the presence of superior forces, ran away. The King pursued his adversaries who abandon two cornets, two hundred horses, and numerous prisoners[4] [5].

Franco-Prussian War 1870–1871

During the Franco-Prussian War,the town and fortress of Amiens are occupied by the Prussian Army in November 1870. On December 16, the French Northern Army, commanded by general Faidherbe, takes up position on the hills bordering the left side of the river Hallue.

Skirmish on Querrieu

The general Manteuffel[6] takes command of the Prussian Army on December 20, and the same day launches a troop and a battalion, about two thousand men, towards the village of Querrieu. On the eastern skirts of the wood, two kilometres in front of the village, they encounter French outposts and engage the battle. Two companies of French Line infantry[7], coming from Bussy-lès-Daours, counter-attack on the right flank of the enemy who turns back to Amiens. In this confrontation, the German lose three officers and sixty-nine men killed or wounded, the French have seven dead and twenty wounded.

Battle of Hallue

On the morning of December 23, Manteuffel gives order of an offensive towards the river Hallue, along a line of twelve kilometres from Contay to Daours, on a snow-covered earth in an icy temperature, worsened by a northern wind. At nine, the Prussians take possession of the wood and the village of Querrieu. Prussian field batteries in action on the heights of the village, in border of the main road, fire over French positions of Pont-Noyelles ; these latter give retort and shells fall on Querrieu houses.

In the afternoon, forty-two Prussian guns are in battery between Querrieu and Bussy-lès-Daours. At about 3:30 p.m. the Prussians launch a mass attack. They make headway into Pont-Noyelles but are stopped at the eastern border of the village. A counter-attack push them back into Querrieu vhere they establish their bivouac for the night. During this night, the French Northern Army start off a movement towards Albert and Bapaume.

In the communal cemetery of Querrieu, mortal remains of French and Prussian soldiers were gathered in two collective graves.

World War I

Battle of the Somme, 1916

In 1916, the Higher Quarter of the 4th British army, under command general Rawlinson, settles in the castle of Querrieu. On July 1st, general Haig, chief commander of the British Forces in France, is on the place. At 7:30 a.m. order of going out of the trenches is given after an heavy artillery preparation, unable to destroy German artillery non locatable behind the hills and out of range to attain the second line of defence entrenched three kilometres behind the first one. That is the beginning of the most murderous battle for the British infantry[8].

During several weeks, there are mouvements to and fro of important civilian and military persons, from them : general Foch and Lord Balfour Prime minister of His Majesty. On August 10, the whole High Quarter is assembled round George V who give decorations to French officers general Fayolle and general Balfourier. The Sovereign was accompanied by his son, the young Prince of Wales, future king Edward VIII, then duke of Windsor after less than a year of reign.

German offensive, Spring 1918

General Monash and H.Q. May 31st 1918

On 21 March 1918, the German launche a major offensive along the Western Front. After a few days, their initial advance begins to falter. Fresh British and Australian units are moved to the vital rail center of Amiens. Numerous British units are billeting in the village of Querrieu and staying on the whole communal territory included in a military concentration area. On May 31, the general John Monash takes command of the Australian Corps and settles his H.Q. in the castle of Saint-Gratien, four kilometres north of Querrieu.

(Collection of one hundred and four (104) photographies from Australian units billetted on Querrieu available on : Official History of Australia in the war 1914–1918, volume XII[9].)

Charles Bean with files in 1935

In may 1918, in the lower part of the village, the living house of a brewery bordering the Hallue river, becomes the H.Q. of Australian war correspondents, among them is Charles W. W. Bean, future author of "Official History of Australia in the war 1914–1918". Outbuildings of the house are occupied by a company of the 21st Australian infantry battalion, who take the name of "Querrieu brewery company". One of the war correspondents (C. W. W. Bean himself ?) describes the events taking place during a day for all men of the company. (Full text in : Official History of Australia in the war 1914–1918, volume VI, chapter I, pages 8 to 18[10].)

On July 4 at 3:30 a.m. general Monash launches an attack combining artillery, tanks, infantry and Air Forces towards Le Hamel, dominating position over Villers-Bretonneux. The 21st battalion takes hold of three German trenches. During this attack, the Querrieu brewery company formes the left wing of the battalion.

On July 20, in front of the castle of Querrieu, general Monash gives distinctions and medals to the 4th infantry Division which distinguished itself during the battle of Le Hamel, but losing 24 officers and 240 men.

A British siege battery settled near the village, in the north, is firing towards the German positions of Villers-Bretonneux. The German artillery counter-strikes and shells destroy houses, farms and cause severe damage to the church.

British siege artillery : 9.2 inches Howitzer supporting the Australian Corps in may 1918 on the front of Somme

On March 27 1918, the 2nd Australian Tunneling Company is dispatched to Querrieu for billeting. One of its first action is the creation of a cemetery, in which eight of its men will be buried from 9 April to 13 June. This cemetery is closed on August ; 103 Australian and British men are buried there[11].

Querrieu British cemetery, 1918


Date of Population
1793 1800 1806 1820 1821 1831 1836 1841 1846 1851
617[12] 755 856 - 773 857 903 916 860 831
1856 1861 1866 1872 1876 1881 1886 1891 1896
815 830 823 806 776 848 776 694 662
1901 1906 1911 1921 1926 1931 1936 1946 1954
622 623 540 457 480 467 480 493 487
1962 1968 1975 1982 1990 1999 2004 - -
493 508 544 583 643 687 - - -
For the census of 1962 to 1999 the official population corresponds with the population without duplicates according to the INSEE.
Querrieu population history from 1700 to 2006



Owned bt the Golf Club d'Amiens, the golf course is situated on the south of Querrieu wood. Limited at first to nine holes, it is nowadays a eighteen holes course of 6114 metres. The club house is suitable for the important number of members (590) and green fees players [13]

Ancient activities

Water mill

From its origins to the Revolution

A seigniorial property, the flour mill settles in Querrieu on the right bank of the Hallue river, has been known since the 13th century by some charters regulating the relations between seigniories for its use, rents and obligations. In 1792, "le moulin à bled tournant et travaillant" is hired for 2000 livres per year by the "ci-devant" seignior, but the miller renounces the leasing after three years, for the reason of a hard competition with three wind-mills recently settled in the village.

The mill in 1812

Not any important repair having been made during the Revolutionary period, the water mill is almost falling in ruin when, in 1812, the owner (the ci-devant seignior) encouraged by an agricultural renewal, carries out needful works for a running order[14], [15].

General view

The mill house, built in bricks and tile covered, shelters the mill machinery. The river water course is elevated to have sufficient energy for the undershot wheel moving inside a diversion dam aside the river natural flow. Sluice gates control water levels.

Mill machinery

The machinery is entirely wooden made.

Querrieu, the wheel-mill

The water-wheel made up of twenty-eight paddles is rigidly locked with an axle of forty centimetres diameter. The vertical rotation of this wheel, moves an horizontal axle rigidly locked with a large pulley-wheel from which the crown is made up of forty-eight lateral teeth. The vertical rotation of this pulley-wheel is converted into horizontal rotation by a lantern gear of ten spindles from which a vertical axle is locked with a runner stone, then, turning faster than the water wheel.

There are two mill stones : the bed stone at the bottom and the runner stone. The iron bound bed stone is formed of seven pieces of sandstone. The iron bound runner stone is formed of nine pieces of sandstone with a hole in its center in which the grain can run off from a bin on the upper floor of the mill-house. The grain is crushed between the two stones : flour and bran are collected in a peripheral bin and fall down into a bolting reel to be separated. Eventually, once more, the bran is crushed to obtain a second quality flour.

At the end of the 19th century, all the wooden machinery is replaced by an iron one. All milling activities cease in 1914, but the machinery is used as a saw-mill until 1940.


From fathers to sons, a family of millers has been working on this mill from 1812 to 1914.

Sugar refinery

In April 1874, on the territory of Querrieu, a sugar beet refinery named "La Sucrerie" is settled close to the cross-roads of neighbouring villages where the farmers cultivate sugar beets. The factory location has also been chosen for the possibility of pumping great quantity of water on low depth.

Harvested beets are hauled to the factory after their weighting and sugar dosage, by ox dragged waggons.

Mechanical process

A steam-engine of thirty-five Horse-Power, drives : an hoisting-gear, a washing-beets machine, a raspery workshop, juice-pumps, molasse and pulp pumps. After their washing, the beets are rasped in a root-cutting machine to be transformed in cossettes. Cossettes are pressed to obtain a juice containing salt and mucilage. The residue is the pulp.

Querrieu, the beet refinery in 1880

Chemical process

Some bone-black is introduced into the juice raised to the temperature of 80° Celsius, to eliminate the coloured substances. Some lime, produced in an oven settled close to the workshops, is added to neutralize the acids. Sulphuric acid is then added introduced to transform the lime excess in sulphates forming some outer-coating.

Physical process

The syrup is passing through a condenser battery where the evaporation is activated by a cooling obtained by an important cold water flow. This condense battery evaporates 2500 hectolitres of juice per day. Granulated sugar obtained after evaporation is shaped into the moulds for its commercialization.

In 1876, the production was of : 800 metric tons of sugar, 500 metric tons of pulp and 400 metric tons of molasse.


An hamlet was created close to the factory : a cottage for the manager, eight houses for a foreman, a supervisor, a book keeper, three firemen, a mason and four workers. The seasonal workers may board in an inn, near the hamlet.

Activity cessation

Far away from any railway or waterway and having to cope with municipality protestations for damages on their roads involved by the heavy waggons during the rainy season, the factory is unable to develop any extension.

In addition to these difficulties, competiting with some more important factories using new production tecnics and having better profit earning, the Company falls in bankruptcy in September 1883.

Recovered by a shareholder, the factory goes on working until 1890, before its end of all activity[16].


Making use of a William Lee invention, stocking frame spread out in Amiens with high quality wools prescribed by the local weaver guild. To get round the rule and obtain lower cost produce, a family of stocking makers (faiseurs de bas au métier) settled down in Querrieu about the middle of the 18th century, the wool coming from local sheep-farming, carding and spinning being carried out by craftsmen of the village. The names of eleven stocking makers appear on the 1836 census.


About 1850, some knitting workshops, making use of original English knitting machines Mule-jenny invented by Samuel Crompton, were operating in Querrieu. In 1881, ninety-eight knitters (men and women) in workshops or at home, live in the village. The last workshop opened in 1925, was running with machines driven by electrical engines; all activities ceased in 1950.

Places of interest


At an indeterminate time, but probably in order to fight the Norsemen invaders in the 10th century, a fortress was built on the right bank of the river Hallue, close to the gallo-roman road Amiens-Bapaume. It was a dark and heavy building in thick walls of bricks, pierced of rare and narrow holes. Wide ditches and deep ponds defended approach of the fortress on which the access was only possible by a drawbridge. The ground floor was in strong sandstone and heavy towers covered in dome, defended the fortified manor.

Castle of Querrieu. Aquarelle by Oswald Macqueron, 1870

At the setting up of the seigniory in marquisate in 1653, the fortress was fit up in a seigniorial castle[17].

After the death of her husband in 1735, Anne-Françoise Perrin, dowager marquess, undertakes to change the fortress into a building pleasant to live in. The new castle consists in a main part formed by a ground-floor surmounted by a storey, enclosed by two turrets in fore-parts built over the subfoundations in sand stone of the two old towers, and prolonged by two pavilions on extremities. The new castle is preceeded by a courtyard bordered by walls and bars. French style gardens with a large basin are spreading on the rear.

After the death of Louis François de Gaudechart in 1832, his widow, Princess Clémentine Charlotte de Rohan-Rochefort, embellishes the castle and its surroundings. An extra storey and attics were added to the main part of the building, the whole crowded by a balustrade in white stone. The park surrounding the castle was extensively enlarged ; a new enclosure in stones and bricks was built and a large iron gate opening to the village. All these arrangements are subsisting nowadays.

Most parts of inside ornaments come from the nineteenth century, particularly panellings of the ground-floor rooms, and inlaid-work of parquetry.

During World War I, the castle was occupied by several British and Australian military High Quarters. After the murderous Bullecourt battle, on April 11 and May 13 1917, Sir William Ridell Birdwood, commandant of the Australian Corps on the West front, came to rest in the castle of Querrieu. He stood there until his promotion in command of the 5th British Army.

After the death, without lineage on April 17 1878, of Raoul de Gaudechart last marquess of Querrieu, the castle became property of Marie-Thérèse de Gaudechart direct descendant of Robert de Gaudechart seignior of Querrieu, wife of the count Alvar d'Alcantara, of belgian nobility[18].

In 1920, the name of Querrieu was added to those of d'Alcantara. Nowadays, the castle is still inhabited by the family d'Alcantara de Querrieu.


The church is dedicated to Saint Gervais and Saint Protais[19].

Querrieu church


The church of Querrieu bordering a chalky table-land, is looking down upon the Hallue river. It appears of heterogeneous construction, but the careful scrutiny of its architecture, is able to gives us its dates of modification.

The choir is bordered on each side by three columns without any capital and joined together by nibs of prismatic profile. Columns and walls sustain a frame hidden by a wooden ceiling. The apse is opened by large bays of Gothic style. The geminate central one represents Jesus the Saviour IHS. From an ancient transept, only one of the two arms on the north side subsists, used as a strong bell tower, from which the walls are pierced with ogival bays. Thus, this part of the church may be dated of the fourteenth or the fifteenth century.

The altar coming from the abbey of Saint-Acheul of Amiens, was bought in 1805. Altar, steps and tabernacle made of painted oak, form a harmonious whole.

A Beam of Glory, modest reduction of a rood screen, was marking a separation between the choir and the nave. Two holes in pillars sustaining the high ogival Triumpal arch, are nowadays the only memory of that beam.

All bays are fitted with coloured stained glass. Their tints are green and gold on the geminate bay of the apse and the large one over the portal, red and blue prevail on all the others.

The simple observation of the joining of the choir with the nave and the bell tower, clearly marks the posteriority of the nave building. This construction without any architectural style is mainly characterised by its strength. Its eight pillars surmounted by heavy walls sustain the roof-tree by four beams and middle posts.

The octogonal base of the baptismal font, the column and the vat are made of limestone and may be dated of the sixteenth century. The cap on neo-gothic style, made of oak with sunken decorations, is dated of 1860.

The pulpit was offered in 1709. The internal face of the roof is decorated with the Holy Ghost dove.


  • Saint Gervais and Saint Protais, made of painted wood of the nineteenth century. Their bases are decorated with ornemental patterns.
  • Saint Ambroise and Saint Augustin, made of painted wood of the eighteenth century.
  • Saint Roch, made of painted wood, undated.
  • The Blessed Virgin of the Calvary, made of painted wood of the sixteenth century. Probably coming from the Beam of Glory.
  • Virgin of Mercy (Pietà). Monument made of painted chalk, undated.
  • Virgin with infant. Processional statue made of pine wood, of nineteenth century.
  • Saint Firmin, made of painted wood, of niniteenh century.

French War Memorial

World War I : French Memorial

In 1921, a War Memorial was erected in front of the Public place. Built in granit of Ardennes on truncated pyramidal shape of four metres high, it is surmounted by a gilded cock[20] [21].

See also


  1. ^ D 929 road, ancient RN 29(French)
  2. ^ Hallue river(French)
  3. ^ Querrieu and surroundings on a Cassini map
  4. ^ Baron Alberic de Calonne : Histoire de la ville d'Amiens. Bibliothèque municipale Louis Aragon d'Amiens. Pic 20554/1
  5. ^ Maurice Rivoire : La reprise d'Amiens, 1597 .Bibliothèque municipale Louis Aragon d'Amiens.Pic 21405/2
  6. ^ General Edwin von Manteuffel
  7. ^ Line infantry (French)
  8. ^ The battles of the Somme, 1916
  9. ^ History of Australia in the war 1914–1918
  10. ^ History of Australia op. cit.
  11. ^ Querrieu British cemetery
  12. ^ CASSINI, census from 1793
  13. ^ Querrieu : Golf Club d'Amiens
  14. ^ Archives départementales de la Somme : 3E 5071 acte 358
  15. ^ Archives départementales de la Somme : 3E 5086 actes 369, 371
  16. ^ Archives départementales de la Somme ; 99 O 3143 and 99 O 3074
  17. ^ Querrieu castle, in Patrimoine de France
  18. ^ Belgian nobility
  19. ^ Querrieu church, in Patrimoine de France
  20. ^ Coq gaulois
  21. ^ World War I French Memorial

External links


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