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Le Petit-Quevilly (Municipality, Seine-Maritime, France)

Last modified: 2021-06-20 by ivan sache
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Flag of Le Petit-Quevilly, current and former versions - Images by Olivier Touzeau, 14 January 2019, and Pascal Vagnat, 7 April 2004, respectively

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Presentation of Le Petit-Quevilly

The municipality of Le Petit-Quevilly (22,134 inhabitants in 2016, therefore the 7th most populated municipality in the department; 435 ha; municipal website) is located just south of Rouen, across the river Seine.

Le Petit-Quevilly was founded in the early ages of the Duchy of Normandy but its precise origin remains obscure. The name Quevilly might come from Cavilliacum, the name of a Roman estate, or, more probably, from queville, the name locally given to a wooden fence used to drive game.
The territory of Le Petit-Quevilly was then covered by the ducal forest of Rouvray, whose southern part still exists. One of the neighbouring municipalities is named Le Grand-Quevilly. Here, the epithets Petit (small) and Grand (big) are not related to the respective size of the towns but to their distance to Rouen, Le Petit-Quevilly being located closer than Le Grand-Quevilly.

The domain of Le Petit-Quevilly was granted in 1035 to the abbey of Bec-Hellouin by its founder, Herlouin. In 1180, Henry II Plantagenet, King of England and Duke of Normandy, founded in the park of Rouvray the Royal House, a leper-house for young women. The house was closed in 1366 and subsequently suppressed, leaving only the St. Julian chapel. In 1207, King of France Philip II Augustus edicted the Charter of the Bruyères-Saint-Julien, which remained effective until the French Revolution. The St. Julian priory was built around 1600 by Cartusians.

Le Petit-Quevilly was granted Municipal Statutes in 1790, but the development of the town started only in the 19th century with the industrialization of the region. Pierre Malétra, a merchant from Rouen, built in 1808 the Malétra factory, specialized in industrial equipement. Malétra's flagship was an oven for burning pyrites, sold all over the world. Pyrites (from Ancient Greek purithes lithos, "fire stone") is a natural iron sulphur (FeS2). The factory hired 800 workers, including the Swedish writer August Strindberg (1849-1912), who spent year 1895 in Le Petit-Quevilly. The factory was stopped in 1963 and demolished in 1971. The resulting industrial wasteland was transformed into the new borough of Nobel-Bozel.
The Buddicom factory was founded in 1841 in Le Petit-Quevilly. The first locomotives and wagons used on the railway line Paris-Rouen, inaugurated in 1843, were built there. The factory also produced sugar mills. The locomotive factory was moved in 1845 to the neighbouring town of Sotteville-lès-Rouen, which was located closer to the railway. In 1848, the soap manufacturer Lacour bought the factory and transformed it into a soap factory which caused a great wrath in Marseilles, the traditional center of soap production in France. In 1875, soap production was replaced by innovative chemical production of carbon sulphur and rubber, directed by Herubel. The factory, which onced hired 850 workers, was closed in 1988.
The cotton mill La Foudre was founded in 1842. Its name came from the boiler used in the factory, which had been retrieved from the tugboat La Foudre (The Lightning), sunk in river Seine. The factory grounds were built by the English architect Fairbain and certified fireproof. The factory was increased in 1859 by Pouyer-Quertier, who hired 700 workers. The factory was closed in the 1930s and taken back by the Army in 1938. All the remaining buildings have been recently purchased by the municipality of Le Petit-Quevilly.

The football-club Union Sportive de Quevilly (USQ; website) was founded in 1902 by the manufacturer Amable Lozai. USQ has remained an amateur club since its early beginnings. In 1927, USQ played the final of the French Cup againt Olympique de Marseille. The club played the semi-finals once again in 1942. After the Second World War, USQ was among the best amateur French clubs. The team won the amateur French championship (CFA) in 1954, 1955, 1958 and 1967. USQ played in 1968 the semi-finals of the French Cup and lost 1-2 against Bordeaux.
More recently, USQ lost in 2010 the semi-final of the French Cup to PSG, and, in 2012, the final of the Cup to Olympique Lyonnais (0-1).
Daniel Horlaville (b. 1946) played in 1962 with the French national team against Romania; he was the last amateur player to have been incorporated in the national team.

Ivan Sache, 7 April 2018

Flag of Le Petit-Quevilly

The flag of Le Petit-Quevilly (photo) is white with the municipal logo, The former flag, used until 2009 was white with the former logo that recalled letter "Q".

Olivier Touzeau & Pascal Vagnat, 14 January 2019