Mametz also boasts a fine mill heritage. Two mills are still in use today. Firstly, the double Crecques mill, of which only the 2 buildings remain. If you meet the owner, who is patiently restoring the site, he’ll surely tell you that he’s mad to have acquired this mill, but that it was his love for this site, which has obsessed him since childhood, that pushed him into this adventure.
Then, not far from the Sauvagine pond, you’ll catch a glimpse of a majestic paddle wheel. Don’t miss this opportunity to take a break in this unique place. It’s simply called “le moulin de Mametz”. It has become one of the Pays de Saint-Omer’s most famous campsites. Push open the door of the campsite café, which is open at weekends, and you’ll discover the intact workings of the mill beside the counter. Mr. and Mrs. Lecat know the history of the place by heart, and will no doubt ask your opinion on the question: why does this mechanism work so silently? The Lys seems to have a calming effect, and the whole campsite seems to be bathed in serenity.
Between these 2 mills, the Lys offers a beautiful wooded setting and a sublime atmosphere. Press correspondent, greeter and French friend*, Bruno Delannoy loves showing people around this area: “I love the Lys. I love its still somewhat wild course upstream of Aire-sur-la-Lys, the lapping of its flow, the fisherman’s cork, the paths that border it. Particularly the one that accompanies it, along the Etang de la Sauvagine at Mametz. The shade of the trees, the wild flowers, the ruins of the mill, a bird taking flight, it’s happiness in stock away from the world, rejuvenation guaranteed.
I also love its quiet path through town, along the old quays once dominated by the portefaixes. It’s as if the river has quietened down. I imagine the boats heading back out to sea…” .
And it’s indeed time to take the road back, along a rural path, with a real sense of ease. All with the proud towers of Aire-sur-la-Lys, the belfry and the collegiate church, in the line of sight. We’ve already seen children falling asleep on the seat of their parent’s bike, as if still lulled by the movement of the Lys.