- Below is a timeline presenting the main historical periods of our era.
- Please click on the image of the period for more information on the Montagnardes particularities.
- You can also consult the historical summary below on this page (For the impatient...)
Historical Summary (For the impatient)
During the Roman period (57 BC to 445 AD) , the country of Lens, of which Montignies is a part, was covered by a vast coal forest, so named because of the coal that was made there with beech wood (coal of "false").
At that time, Bavay had been chosen as the capital of NERVIE. In the center of this city, was placed a stone with 7 faces, each of which corresponded to a Roman road.
The 1st crosses our regions to end in Utrecht and forms the boundary between Montignies and Neufvilles. This road then crosses Louvignies, Chaussée ND, Graty, Hoves, Enghien, Brabant and Anvers to end in Utrecht in Holland. It is called "Chaussée Brunehault". The name "Chaussée" (caussée) comes from "Caus", the patois name for "lime", the material used in its construction. As for Brunehault, it is the name of the queen, regent of Autrasia (534-613) who repaired several Roman roads to which she left her name.
Already at that time, Montignies was producing a lot of wheat; a large number of cattle and large flocks of sheep and pigs were also raised there, which were supplied to Rome. Is it necessary to recall that Montignies-lez-Lens later became the cradle of the world famous Belgian horse breed?
In the Middle Ages, Montignies was part of the localities called "Onze ville" which was given by the Countess of Hainaut to the monks of Hasnon at the end of the 11th century. Montignies was also the capital and had a feudal castle which left some remains of towers, underground passages, surrounding ditches... Today it is no more than a farm bathed by the Marquette. This castle later became the residence of the monks of the Abbey of Cambron-Casteau who acquired this property and connected it to Cambron by an underground passage. There are vestiges of it in the house (rue Val de la Marquette) still occupied not long ago by the Decrucq-Permanne family. As for the castle farmhouse, it is currently inhabited by the Stennhaut family. (Note in passing that the "Bourgeois" and du "farms
During the Crusades, Baudouin of Constantinople (4th Crusade) brought together a large number of knights from our region to go and deliver the tomb of Christ. Among them, we notice the knight Evrard de Montignies.
Then came the period of the Commons(1168-1384). It was in 1246 that Marguerite of Constantinople, Countess of Flanders and Hainaut, granted the "11 cities" an important charter regulating the right to pasture that the inhabitants of the villages of Masnuy, Jurbise, Erbaut, Erbisoeuil, Casteau (where there are always the street of the eleven cities), Lens, Herchies, Saisinne (hamlet of Thieusies, road Queen of Hungary-Thieusies), Nimy, Maisières and Montigny-lez-Lens, have in the forest of Broqueroie and this, in return for a fee which was paid every year, on the Sunday following St Jean, in the sacristy of the church of Montignies, (probable origin of the ducasse for the month of June) in front of the mayor and the aldermen of Montignies. This therefore also proves that communal power was already exercised in Montignies in 1246. (In the name of the Abbey of Hasnon which owned this stronghold).
NB: This charter is reproduced "in extenso" in the historical overviews of Abbé Notté and Brother Nicolas. You will find all of it in the 'History' section of this site.
It was during the Austrian period (1714-1795) that the Abbey of St Denis had the Parc farm built (which we will discuss later) as evidenced by the year appearing on the bell tower (1778-1779), the Bourgeois farm where tithes were paid (destroyed in 1876), and the Montignies cure (burnt down by the Germans in 1914). specific to the city of Mons was given to Hainaut and extended to the whole region of which Montignies was a part. The many wars of Louis XIV (1667-1715), King of France (the Sun King), allowed the French armies to often occupy our region and to distinguish themselves there by various criminal acts: fires, looting, requisitions.
The "little story" of Montignies obviously does not stop at this time in history. Many other heroic mountain feats have illustrated the last two centuries, but it is not possible to relate them all on this page.
Go to the additional pages relating to the history of Montignies Lez Lens.