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The legend goes that Saint Martin was asked to pass by Haybes, on his way to Charleville to fetch some bottles and some walnuts. On his way back, there was a violent thunder storm which struck the heights of the village, scattering and destroying the goods. Seeing this as a powerful warning from the almighty; Saint Martin fell onto his knees onto a stone and cried for seven years. Today, we can still see, on this stone, the mark made by the knees and the elbows of the Saint, and also the small cavity made by his tears, which never stopped flowing day and night for seven years.

The Madonna of the Fumay Convent

In the past on the mountain of Diversmont was built a Jérômistes’ Convent. Today nothing is left at this place except an alley of lime trees leading to a small chapel. Every year at Whit, an important ceremony for Our Lady of Diversmont was organized. The statue of Our Lady of Diversmont was brought before the door of the village Church and not moved before the saint Trinity before then being moved into its chapel. But one year during the 15th century, the statue was forgotten in front of the Church. Our Lady of Diversion was so sad that she hadn’t been put back in her chapel that she got off her pedestal in the middle of the night and went back on her own to her chapel the weather was very bad that night. When she arrived before the chapel, she was covered in mud and therefore didn’t want to enter in the sanctuary. She therefore went to have a wash in the stream that runs at the foot of the rocks of Diversmont. Since this time, the water of Diversmont has a reputation for being miraculous. It is said to cure many illness especially those connected to eyes.

The Nutons

These imps live in the grotto of Nichet in the country of Fromelennes. At dusk, the country people bring their work to be done, such as old tools to be repaired, clothes to be repaired …. In exchange for these jobs, the country people are obliged to put in front of the grotto: bread, wheat and food supplies, never money. One day, a woman put a piece of work to be sewn and as agreed food supplies. But this woman, who was rather stingy, replaced the wheat with ashes. The Nutons were vexed to have been deceived and so stopped their jobs for the country people.

Today, it sometimes happens that some people can see tiny luminous points crossing the grotto. These are the nutons who are crossing with their torches deep in the grotto.

Mélusine of Hierges

Hierges is one of the « most beautiful villages in France » and is situated on the road between Vireux and Givet.

The legend goes that its chateau was built in one night, by the fairy Mélusine and it had 365 windows.

It is from here Mélusine of Hierges originated, also called Sybille de Lusignant who became Queen of Jerusalem, Mélusine of Hierges is a direct descendant of the famous fairy Mélusine (the eldest always carries the name of the famous ancestor). Her father Manassé of Hierges, became famous during the Crusades. She married Guy of Lusignant and was chatelaine of Samson, where it is said, she participated in the fight to defend the chateau. According to some sources of information, she died of the plague in 1190 in front of Saint-Jean d’Acre; according to others, she died in 1187, on the land of Samson.

In any case, if you stop at the church of Namèche, you can see, in the choir, a head stone with the following inscription « Here lies the bones of Sybille of Lusignant Queen of Jerusalem died in the year 1187. »

Personalities connected to Haybes

Marie Louise Dromart

Maiden name Grès, is an author of well known poems. Born in Haybes 29th July 1880, she published her first book, the title was, « Le Front Voilé, in 1912 after finishing her studies at the Lycee Sévigné in Charleville.

During the 1st World War, because of her heroic attitude she was decorated with the« Légion d’Honneur ». She also received the Order of the Nation and received the medal « Reconnaissance Française » In 1925, she received the award « Archon-Despérouse awarded by the French Académie, for the « Bel Eté » and in 1928 for « sur mes pipeaux fleuris ».

She died in Paris 23 October 1937. Many people attended her funeral when she was buried in the Haybes Cemetery on 26 October. In particular Henri Dacrmont, who represented the Ardennes writers association.

Her books :

1912: Le Front Voilé

1913: Les feuilles tombent

1920: Sur le chemin du calvaire

1925: Le bel été

1928: Sur mes peipeaux fleuris

1929: Dans le sillage de l’oiseau blanc

1929: Dans la pantoufle de cendrillon

1930 : L’allée aux fantômes


Louis Adolphe Hamaide (1833-1905) was one of the first doctors to have studied in detail the symptoms of the slate quarry workers illness, that the doctor Debieuvre called, the « schistose » (a type of silicosis) . His book was published in 1861. The family Hamaide was one of the most important families in Haybes.


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