in the Auvézère Gorges between Limoges, Brive and Périgueux
An hour from Périgueux and 30 minutes from the A89 motorway linking Bordeaux and Lyon; 95 minutes from Bergerac and its international airport; 50 minutes from Brive-la-Gaillarde airport and about an hour from Limoges.
In the Green Périgord area, an undulating region crisscrossed by a multitude of streams and lakes, the renowned Auvézère Gorges are unique. Whilst the wooded landscape includes areas varying in height by more than 100 m, panoramic views, hiking and mountain bike trails as well as rapids for small watercraft sports, the local architecture is not to be outdone, with old forges, chateaux, mills, 20th century industrial buildings, farms and their once thatched, oval-shaped barns.
Two narrow bridges, following one after the other, make it possible to reach the opposite bank which is also private. Fishing between the weir and the bridge is restricted so as to preserve the residents’ tranquillity.
The old mill
Constructed right next to the river bed on a peninsula, it was used as a flour mill up until 1960, prior to being rehabilitated as a house, with advice from an architect.
Former area containing the shafts driven by the wheel, this level is laid out above the millstream and left empty in case of flooding.
The habitable section can be reached via a covered, raised wooden terrace that looks out over the river downstream from the weir. The living space comprises an entrance hall, a living room, with an open-plan kitchen, a laundry room and a toilet. The lounge is partially laid out in a wooden extension, with two panoramic picture windows. The view over the river, the weir and the natural setting are omnipresent. A fireplace in a central position provides the comfort of a wood fire.
A spiral stairway leads to the attic space, now converted into two bedrooms, with shower rooms and toilets. Skylights make the rooms extremely bright and a glazed shed dormer dominates the weir.
The miller’s house
Constructed on the hillside facing south as well as the river, this wide building, with its hip, slate roof, spans three levels, the attic space of which is easy to reach and could be converted. Some improvement works are required to make this house habitable. Adjoining its gable is an extension of similar height which houses a boiler room and an upstairs bedroom, with a door giving independent access at the rear.
Two families previously shared this house, each living in one of its ends. This is why the current vast living room, free of its partition wall, has two fireplaces: a traditional “cantou” fireplace and a closed-hearth fire. For the same reason, there are two stairways, one in the main room and the other in the adjoining kitchen, both going up to the first floor. The floor surface area and the character of the room are such that it could easily become a function or a restaurant room, opening directly on to the courtyard. A wooden partition in the kitchen conceals a storeroom, with a packed mud floor, where the rear wall is none other than rock.
The first stairway goes up to a corridor, leading to a bathroom and three bedrooms, one of which has the particularity of having a door giving independent access to the outside, like an emergency exit. The second stairway leads to an anteroom, where a door opens into the corridor, and to a bedroom.
Following on from the house, an impressive farm building in use as a barn, with a packed mud floor, where a cowshed was installed under a mezzanine.
This building stands facing the property entrance and closes the interior courtyard. Old wooden carriages are still housed there. It is now predominantly used as a woodstore.
Adjoining the “charretterie”, this small building is divided into three horse loose boxes.
Its facade on the courtyard side is characterised by two columns that divide the area into three relatively large, car parking spaces.
The building housing the boiler room is extended by what was the old pigsties, topped with aviaries. This area is currently used for storge purposes.
The old walnut-oil plant
A royal order dated 04.10.1826 confirms the former presence of a forge, fitted with a hammer and a refining furnace for the conversion of cast iron to iron using charcoal, in place of the current industrial building. Its activity ceased in 1860. The hydraulic force was then used by a walnut-oil plant, spanning on four levels, a large part of the equipment of which is still in place.
With ceilings reinforced with double I-beams, this building has a ground level with a packed mud floor and three vast, bright, open-plan, upper floors, with wooden flooring, making numerous conversions possible. The building is currently fitted with a 9-kW micro hydroelectric turbine making it possible, once the alternator has been repaired, to supply the electricity required for heating the mill.
This place is a haven. A feeling of achievement marking the end of a long walk. A desire to settle down and begin a new, autonomous way of life. Remote, nuisance-free and partially habitable with modern-day home comforts in the old mill overlooking the river, it promises a new spectacle every day, close to the water, nature and wild life, both in and out of the water, on firm land and in the air. An invigorating place to start miscellaneous projects: to restore the miller’s house and turn it into a large family home, to convert the outbuildings, spanning approx. 800 m², into holiday accommodation rental units or a restaurant, to get the hydroelectric turbine or the walnut-oil plant working again, the equipment for the latter still being in place, to create a museum, a place open to the general public. Anything is possible here.
|Land registry surface area||2 ha 55 a 2 ca|
|Main building surface area||271.3 m2|
|Number of bedrooms||6|
|Outbuilding surface area||795 m2|
Jonathan Barbot +33 1 42 84 80 85
NB: The above information is not only the result of our visit to the property; it is also based on information provided by the current owner. It is by no means comprehensive or strictly accurate especially where surface areas and construction dates are concerned. We cannot, therefore, be held liable for any misrepresentation.