Lille - Musée des Canonniers Sédentaires
Musée des Canonniers Sédentaires
44, rue des Canonniers
Monday to Saturday from 2.00pm to 5.00pm
Closed on public holidays
Closed from mid-December up to just before the February school holiday
Closed during the first three weeks in August
Groups by reservation
Tel. : + 33 (0)3 126.96.36.199.
Musée des Canonniers Sédentaires de Lille
With the development of artillery technology, firing weaponry became increasingly used in the defence of fortified towns. In order to defend its walls, the town of Lille established a company of gunners deployed to reinforce the existing companies of archers and crossbowmen. The Brotherhood of gunners and culveriners was officially constituted on 2 May 1483 by Philippe le Beau. Under the patronage of Saint Barbara, it saw action in every siege in Lille's history.
As a religious brotherhood, the Gunners saw their company dissolved by the Revolutionaries. However, they were incorporated into the National Guard by decree in 1791. The Lille artillerymen were noted for their courage during the Austrian siege of 1792. In 1803, the then Consul Bonaparte rewarded them, re-organising the corps and renaming it the Battalion of Sedentary Gunners of Lille.
During the Great War, the Gunners fought in Dunkirk to defend the inter-Allied port. Later, in the Second World War, they were deployed to defend the Lille-Roubaix-Tourcoing area against enemy aircraft during the French Campaign.
The museum exhibits a collection of artefacts relating to the and to the town's defences, together with eyewitness accounts of the day-to-day lives of the Gunners and elements retracing the history of Lille.