The sweetness of life is set to Melle. The town enjoys an exceptional natural environment. Soft hills covered with chestnut woods, the fertile meadows surround the town with a gently rolling landscape. Built on a promontory, the town is crossed by three rivers that adorn the landscape of groves. City of art and history, Melle has a rich and unusual historical heritage. Its history will enlighten you on the curiosities that the commune shelters. Present since ancient times, the city exploited its silver mines during the Middle Ages. Galena, that is to say, the lead containing silver, was extracted and then shaped to make change. This minting activity lasted until 1189 when the activity was relocated to other cities in France. Later, Melle became an important center for donkey breeding so much that its reputation and fairs went beyond the country's borders. The mechanization of agriculture put an end to this economic boom. Today, Melle focuses on tourism. Resort and discovery, Melle has many assets that will seduce you.
The municipality of Saint-Léger-les-Melle, following its merger with the Enclave de la Martinière from 1 January 1973, became Saint-Léger-de-la-Martinière.
With about 1,100 inhabitants, on an area of 2500 hectares, the town is located on a plateau with an altitude of 160 meters.
It is hollowed out by three deep valleys, in which small rivers flow.
Two of them, the Mareuil and the Bignon, form the Légère at Saint-Léger. La Légère, after having crossed the pond of the Rhodia factory, will throw itself in the Berlande at a place called Canteau in the municipality of Paizay-le-Tort.
In the 3rd valley runs the Béronne, fed by the brook of the fountain of Triangle and several small fountains, very popular with fishermen, especially at the foot of Pied Pouzin.
The commune is rural. It still has 24 farms in its villages with goat herds, dairy and lactating cows, beef cattle and a large part of cereals. In this area are also 5 craftsmen (masons, cabinetmaker, lumberjack).
The industrial zone "Rhodia" and the commercial and craft area (which counts about thirty businesses and shops), as well as the town, the city Pierre Brune and the Clos de la Talle, characterize the urban side of the town.
Saint-Léger-la-Martinière is located on the D950 between Poitiers and Saintes. In the crossing of the village, the road takes the name of the Great Way St Jacques de Compostela.
On each side there were old inns that turned into houses, town hall and multipurpose room with its dovecote, falconry next to the bakehouse, flower garden and bowling. On the shaded place of lime trees is the church of the twelfth century.
Today Saint-Léger-de-la-Martinière has 1050 inhabitants. The presence on the territory of "Usines de Melle", which was originally a sugar refinery, and the merger in 1972 with the commune of Enclave de Martinière contributed to the demographic expansion.
There are still many historical remains in the woods of Melle and the woods of the guard, ditches testify to the existence of defensive enclosures. In the valley of the Light of the entrances of galleries of extraction, as well as deposits of earth of mines testify to the presence for centuries of researchers of lead silver. In the village there is a part of the hostels of Saint Jacques de Compostela, gateways, carved fireplace.