The end of a century!
To finish our chapter on the 20th century, you will find below the translation of a portrait of Molières, drawn up by Claire Veaux at the very beginning of the 21st century, about 20 years ago now, as well as a series of photos illustrating life and some events at the end of the 20th century.
There are 315 permanent inhabitants, including just a few farming families. Mixed farming is favoured by the variety of soils: clay and sand on a limestone substrate.
Traditional tobacco cultivation has disappeared, only the brick and wooden drying sheds remain as witnesses. Maize cultivation is spreading thanks to the water pumped from the Dordogne river by an extensive irrigation system installed since 1990. Livestock farming has also developed here, either for milk production or for meat with herds of Limousin cattle.
A new phenomenon has appeared: the rapid expansion of walnut groves. Under this impulse, the commune has been reforested more than it had ever been before.
As elsewhere in the Perigord, Molières is home to poultry farms for fattening.
An agricultural mechanics garage and a sawmill are active businesses in close contact with the rural environment.
Green tourism is an important economic factor. The interest shown by city dwellers in our heritage and in the pleasant, peaceful and varied nature in Molières, is currently a major factor. A remarkably well laid out campsite in a forest setting and rural guesthouses attract those looking for peace and quiet.
Thanks to beautiful hiking and riding trails, the whole territory of the village can be explored. It is also possible to link up with the nearby tourist attractions: Cadouin and Saint-Avit Senieur and their abbeys; Beaumont and Lalinde, Molières’ big neighbours; Badefols and its castle. These activities can only encourage green- or eco-tourism, an important economic niche.
The village has grown. A new neighbourhood has sprung up with four social housing units. New houses were built in the upper part of the village. Currently, the village seems to be organised around the pensioners. In 1992, a “multiple rural” (grocery shop, bar, restaurant) was opened in the village square in order to (re)create a permanent economic hub in the centre.
Art craftsmen and artists: painters, potters, ornamental iron smith have found in Molières the inspiration they need for their work.
In recent years, the people of Molières have been working hard to restore old houses, largely under the impulse of many British and other foreigners attracted by the charm of the village and its surroundings. Streets and houses are brightened up with flowers and plants, which gives our village the charming look that attracts visitors.
Doctors, pharmacists and banks are located in Lalinde, Beaumont or Le Buisson, which can be reached by car in fifteen minutes.
Economically, our bastide is closely linked with the Dordogne valley, which provides most of the jobs and services. Bergerac and Périgueux are the two administrative centres which our village depends on. Our bastide is trying to find its place in a rural world undergoing profound changes.
In conclusion, the marriage of history with the charm of the countryside and heritage, and the relative isolation of the bastide, have attracted a new population which has either rehabilitated old houses or built contemporary ones in a new neighbourhood dominating the old town.
Thanks to this peaceful and warm environment, the new community of Molières, made up of native “Périgourdins”, neo-rural people from the Hexagon who have come to live here for their retirement, Europeans and even people from further afield, is organising itself to make our bastide live in the 21st century.
Here is our village at the end of the 20th century! Our historical presentation is certainly incomplete, but we hope that it will have immersed you a little in the life of yore.
The 20th century in Molières
Most of the images on this page come from a collection of photos made available by villagers during the preparation of a photo exhibition about the village. It has been impossible to trace the origin of all these photos. If any of the photos used here belong to you and you do not want them to be used, or if you wish to be credited, please do not hesitate to contact us. We will be happy to respond to your request.
Some of the photos are from our private collection.