Lavoir Gouttčre - Ancient wash house in Gondrin (Gers/Gascony)
This pittoresque wash house is slightly hidden just west of the center of Gondrin and accessible by a narrow winding path. This lavoir also was a meeting place for washwives where they could do their laundry but also exchange the latest news and gossip....
Lavoir Gouttčre is situated just wet of the center of Gondrin. Here are the GPS coordinates: 43.885604, 0.234499. View the location of this wash house in Google Earth. Download a GPX file with the GPS coordinates of the wash houses of Gondrin.
Old wash houses in and around Gondrin
Here is a list of beautifully renovated old wash houses in and around Gondrin:
The 'Association Belle-Garde Gondrin' is founded with the goal to preserve the historical heritage of Gondrin among which are the old wash houses in and around the village.
History of the wash houses
Long ago washing was done on spots along the river on a flat stone or a simple wooden board without any shelter from the sun. The first wash houses were built at the end of the eighteenth century when there was a growing need for hygiene, caused by industrial pollution and epidemics. In France, the construction of more washing houses was facilitated by a law of February 3, 1851 by which a grant to build such a laundry facility could be obtained for up to 30% of the total building costs. Some wash houses were even built with the allure of a small temple, offering a dignified shelter for the wash wives doing their heavy and repetitive work.
These wash houses became important social places in the villages where the wash wives gathered several times per week to exchange the latest news and gossip. These primitive laundry facilities became obsolete in the twentieth century with the advent of the washing machine. Many of these old wash houses were abandonned and became ruins, but here in Gondrin a number of those have been beautifully restored in their original splendour thanks to the association Belle-Garde.
Association 'Belle-Garde Gondrin'
The association 'Belle-Garde Gondrin' is a group of passionate habitants of Gondrin, a small village right in the heart of Gascony. The goal of this association is to (re-) discover, catalog, maintain, preserve and protect all that history left us in order to bring the history of Gondrin closer to its inhabitants and other interested parties. For more information check their website: www.bellegardegondrin.fr.