Herepian Bell and Cowbells Museum

by | Oct 31, 2017

Herepian is a small ‘typical’ village in the south of France.  Since the 1600s the Granier family have been involved in metal manufacturing. Originally, the family were nail manufacturers and later became cowbell makers.

Around 1920, Joseph Granier built a new factory in Castanet le Bas, where water was more readily available and started producing little spherical bells. In 1931, Grainer realised there was a demand for church bells and obtained the necessary plans in Germany.

In 1970, Francois Grainer, the manager at the time, gradually transferred its manufacturing activities to a new location in Herepian, where the factory was larger and in a more accessible location.

At the time of its closure in 2011, the Herepian foundry was the oldest foundry in France and the only one to make three sorts of bells: cowbells used for the cattle, little spherical bells and church bells.

The remarkable Bell Museum was created in recognition of the Grainer family and the need to preserve the history of the Herepian bell foundry.

The museum displays different manufacturing techniques, production processes of the old bell foundry, property of the Granier family since 1600; including copper bells, cowbells and church bells.

The Museum is accessible by Greenway ‘Passa Pais’, (80km track – for cyclists, walkers, horseriders) which is located on the site of the old Herepian train station.

Museum Admission
Adult: €5
7-18 and students: €4
Under 7 free
Disabled: €4.50 (
Family: €4 for adults and €2 between 7 and 18
Tip: Displays are in French however a booklet is available in other languages.

The museum has a lift and caters for both hearing and visually impaired.

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