Merville, Nord

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Hôtel de Ville de Merville.JPG
Coat of arms of Merville
Coat of arms
Merville is located in France
Coordinates: 50°38′40″N 2°38′28″E / 50.6444°N 2.6411°E / 50.6444; 2.6411Coordinates: 50°38′40″N 2°38′28″E / 50.6444°N 2.6411°E / 50.6444; 2.6411
Country France
Region Hauts-de-France
Department Nord
Arrondissement Dunkerque
Canton Merville
Intercommunality Flandre Lys
 • Mayor (2008–2014) Jacques Parent
Area1 26.96 km2 (10.41 sq mi)
Population (1999)2 8,903
 • Density 330/km2 (860/sq mi)
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
 • Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
INSEE/Postal code 59400 /59660
Elevation 12–19 m (39–62 ft)
(avg. 17 m or 56 ft)

1 French Land Register data, which excludes lakes, ponds, glaciers > 1 km² (0.386 sq mi or 247 acres) and river estuaries.

2 Population without double counting: residents of multiple communes (e.g., students and military personnel) only counted once.

Merville (from Dutch: Meregem) is a commune in the Nord department in northern France.



Located at the convergence of a canal system and a canalised river, Merville supported an extensive boat building industry, with many different shipyards and chandlers located in the town.[1] The industry went into decline in the post-war era and is today virtually extinct.

First World War[edit]

6th Jat Regiment marching into its billet, July 1915

During the course of the First World War the village was completely destroyed. The 6th Jat Light Infantry were billeted here in 1915. The Merville Communal Cemetery and Extension is also located here.

Country Victims
British Empire British Empire 913 1139
 Canada 3 11
 South Africa 2 21
Australia Australia 2 -
British Raj Indian Empire - 97
Total 920 1268

Notable buildings[edit]

The parish church of St Peter in Merville, France.

The parish church of St Peter in Merville is a very large capacity parish church, whose dimensions make it a prominent landmark, visible at considerable distances from the town. Merville is a parish of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Lille.

The diocesan seminary of the Lille diocese was formerly located in Merville. It is also a very large structure, built on four storeys around a central cloister, with large chapel and refectory, and accommodation for over 200 staff and students. With decreasing numbers of vocations the seminary closed in 1970. The extensive buildings were briefly occupied by a community of religious sisters, and then became the Lille diocese's retreat and conference centre, a role in which it is still employed today.[2]

The main town square is dominated by the town hall (Hôtel de Ville), which is built in the Flemish Renaissance style. It incorporates a very tall clock tower, with a working public clock.


Arms of Merville
The arms of Merville are blazoned :

Per fess Or and azure, 3 fleurs de lys counterchanged. (Anhiers and Merville use the same arms.)


Climate in this area has mild differences between highs and lows, and there is adequate rainfall year round. The Köppen Climate Classification subtype for this climate is "Cfb" (Marine West Coast Climate/Oceanic climate).[3]

Le Sart[edit]

Le Sart is a small village located about a mile west of Merville. It forms part of the Merville commune, and is connected to the town by a regular bus service. It has a small parish church dedicated to Notre Dame des Affigés (Our Lady of the Afflicted).

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Details at town website (in French).
  2. ^ Centre website (in French).
  3. ^ Climate Summary for Merville

External links[edit]