At the beginning of the 20th century, there were about two hundred enterprises making wooden clogs (“sabots”) in Neufchâtel-en-Saosnois, a small village on the edge of the Perseigne forest about 5 minutes drive from where we live. Most of these were individual clog-makers, using wood cut from the neighbouring woodlands.
As this form of footwear fell out of usage, the number of clog makers gradually dwindled away and today there are very few left. However, the tradition does survive and there is a handful of artisans in the Sarthe who continue the craft, always popular at craft fairs and country fêtes.
The Clog Museum at Neufchâtel-en-Saosnois has a display of clogs (some are remarkably decorated with lace-like patterning) and old tools used in clog making, woodcutting and carpentry.
The museum is near the church and is open to the public throughout the year – ask for the key to the door at one of the local shops or in the bar if the door is not open (it is usually open 1 May to 30 September between 3.00pm – 6.00 pm on Sundays & Public Holidays). Admission is free.
Place Maxime Boisseau
Tel 02 43 97 75 54