The Lille conurbation, that includes the town of Roubaix, was during the 19th century the principal centre in France for the manufacture of woollen, cotton and linen textiles. Some handloom weavers’ cottages remain but the town also accommodates the museum, opened in 2001, that now portrays the area’s industrial history, along with collections of works of art. La Piscine is an Art-Deco swimming pool of 1922, whose conversion has been much commended. The industrial collection includes books of samples, some dating from the 1830s.
The Motte-Bossut mill, built between 1864 and 1905, replacing a structure of 1843 that was destroyed by fire, is now a regional archives centre. Its owner visited Manchester in 1842 and returned with the design of Richard Roberts’s self-acting spinning mule.