Saint Bartholomew chapel in Erbaut
Saint Bartholomew’s day is a tradition in Erbaut! Two chapels pay homage to the saint and every year, since 1853, a procession walks through the village. Originally dedicated only to horses, today it is also a day of blessing for the coaches. The procession passes not far from a magnificent chestnut tree, on rue du Centenaire, near a stone potale (a small niche that contains a statue) dated 1766. On the other side of the road, it passes by a chapel also dedicated to Saint Bartholomew dated 1948.
The tumulus of Erbaut
Talk has been rife in humble homes for years... What does the Erbaut tumulus actually represent? A Gallo-Roman tumulus, the tomb of a Gallic chief topped by a megalithic monument, a medieval underground passage connecting the hill to Herchies castle, a medieval clump... Speculation abounds, providing a real talking point for over a century!
The Chêne à clous (nailed oak tree)
It’s called Chêne Saint-Antoine or “El Quêne à Claus” depending on whether you’re familiar with the place. On the borders of Herchies, on the edge of Erbaut, this nailed tree stands in the midst of fields and is endowed with special powers. People go there to drive into its bark a bandage or a “rag”, namely fabric that has been in contact with the wounded area. Classified by the Walloon Region since 1985, it’s one of the last trees alleged by some to have special powers to cure boils, pimples, warts.... And by extension all skin diseases.
The primitive castle of Egmont in Herchies
The castle of Egmont in Herchies owes its survival to the restoration orchestrated by canon Edmond Puissant, in the 19th century. Today Marie-Médiatrice priory, this old castle is now occupied by about twenty monks. You can sleep there to share the “prayer and silence” of the occupants, visit the monastic shop that sells jams and small crafts or simply walk around its grounds to admire the castle’s ancient moat.
L’Arbre de la Liberté (the Freedom Tree)
In the years following the French Revolution, freedom trees were planted to commemorate events which heralded new eras. At Herchies, a freedom plane tree grew near the Grand-Place in 1793. In 1963, faced with the risk of collapse the tree had to be cut down as it had become hollow. Since 1974, a new tree has stood in place of the old one in the middle of the square.
Also known as Agasse farm, this is one of the most typical square farms in the region. Composed of buildings with whitewashed walls, it is also one of the oldest buildings since it is already mentioned at the beginning of the 17th century. It would have previously been called “La Cense de Locre” (Locre farm), a name found since 1561. With its magnificent, imposing presence, it’s worth the detour.
Tourette or Gervoise farm
In the family of Jurbise’s farms, I request Tourette farm, probably one of the most elegant. On 17 April 1753, Benoit Emmanuel de Beyne sold Tourette farm, which then comprised 18 bonniers de terre (formerly a measurement unit used in Flanders, totalling 1 hectare 40 acres), to Philippe Antoine Gauquier, a farmer in Wodecq. One of his daughters married Benoni Gervoise, who was mayor (burgomaster) for over 40 years and exceptionally served under three different regimes (French, Dutch and Belgian). He gave his name to the farm, which has now been converted into multiple residences.
Château de la Source, Erbisoeul
How can you mention Jules Destrée without thinking of his famous letter to King Albert I, written in 1912? This is one of the founding texts to raise an awareness of Walloon identity. In it the politician talks about his childhood memories and his holidays with his uncle and aunt, at Château de la Source in Erbisoeul. Still visible via the priests’ path, this house remains an important milestone for this man of action, an emblematic figure in the awakening of the Walloon consciousness.
Cambin or Criquelion farm, the oldest
Isolated in the meadows, the vast white-walled farm is surrounded by a fence wall probably dating back to the 16th century, as evidenced by the crest dated 1579 inserted above the pedestrian door. Its entrance, confined by two pillars giving access to two inner courtyards, points to a tall, generously proportioned building which commands the admiration of old stone enthusiasts. The low outbuildings, along with a barn dating all the way back to 1888, nicely finish the ensemble.
The Royal Golf Club in Erbisoeul
Designed by Tom Simpson, one of the most renowned English architects of his time, the Royal Golf Club of Erbisoeul was inaugurated in 1933. With its three courses, it is one of the most beautiful golfing sites in Belgium. Located in the heart of the Hainaut pine forest, this golf course truly is a haven of peace allowing you to roam through nature and changing landscapes over the seasons.