It was with some surprise that we learnt that the lake at Bagnoles de l’Orne was dug in 1611. It was located in the middle of the Forêt des Andaines and was intended to supply water to an iron foundry below. At this time, it covered 17 acres, which is double its current size. At the end of the 18th century, a hundred and twenty workers worked in around 15 buildings at the iron foundry.
But in 1811 there was a violent storm over Bagnoles, the waters of the lake rose very fast and the dam failed. The flood devastated the foundry and swept away the forging hammer, which weighed nearly a ton! The lake no longer had an economic use. The dam was repaired, but the banks became fields. It only was much later but the lake that we know today became an area for relaxation and holidaymakers.