Laminoir de la Rochette
THE ABANDONED ROLLING MILL IN BELGIUM
This is ‘Laminoir de la Rochette’, an abandoned rolling mill in the town Rochette in Belgium. The site has been abandoned since the closure of the company S.A. Galvanoplastie Maurice Gilson, that was declared bankrupt in February 2014.
The site is located in the valley of the Vesdre, on the territory of the municipality of Chaudfontaine. The history of the factory goes back to the year 1700 when a water-operated metal mill was built here, in 1797 the factory was transformed into a rolling mill. Years later, in 1811, a tinsmith workshop and a spinning mill were built. This company was in operation until 1860. Eventually, between 1883 and 1965, the factory site operated a sheet mill and rolling mill for the production of rifles and knives.
In the 1970s the three companies ‘Prometa’, ‘Cadmiage Maurice Gilson’ and ‘Metalprotect Defa’ set up shop on the site. In 2004, Prometa was taken over by Maurice Gilson. The new company tinned copper and also had a department for galvanizing and anodizing aluminum. However, ‘Metalprotect Defa’ ceased operations in 2008. Six years later, in 2014, ‘Galvanoplastie Maurice Gilson’ is declared bankrupt, and the site is abandoned.
In 2017 the site was cleaned, more than 18 thousand liters of chemical waste was removed. I visited Laminoir de la Rochette in 2016 and 2017. The site was demolished in 2018.