This compact museum, housed in one of Rouen’s many dilapidated former churches, proved to be much more interesting than we had expected. Billed as a museum of “wrought ironwork” we decided to visit it near the end of a holiday that had seen us Cathedral-ed and Art-Galleried to exhaustion. So, “something different”, we thought – and so it turned out to be. The museum contains thousands of objects, neatly and professionally displayed and labelled, covering a vast range of metal objects. They range from a complete ornate staircases banister to a large medieval doornail, taking in along the way keys and locks, ornamental plates, tools, toolmakers’ tools, scissors, sewing kits, cooking equipment, toys, hinges, weaponry, even a handbag or two – and that is very far from a complete list. The interest of the museum stems from the sheer diversity of the designs, and it must be impossible to walk around it without being fascinated by the ornate designs of the 15th, 16th and other centuries. All the labels and handouts are in French only; the staff speak limited English. Entrance was only 3 euros (august 2010), but beware it is closed at lunchtime.
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