with meadows, a lake and a dominant view over the river
This property is 6 km from the outstanding town of La-Réole. Bordeaux is an hour away; Saint-Émilion, 35 minutes; Marmande, 20 km; the A62 motorway less than 15 minutes. The fortified market town of La-Réole has numerous shops and amenities.
The main house
This large, luxurious home was visibly constructed in the 18th century for the needs of the industrial miller from Bordeaux who ran the mill. It was renovated in the 1970’s. It nestles in a vast verdant setting.
The vestibule provides access to a study, a kitchen and a living room. The latter, enhanced with a fireplace, houses a stairway. A bedroom, a workshop and a garage. The five openings on this level give access to a terrace which looks out over the mill. The surface area of the ground floor is approx. 400 m².
This level, reached via a wooden stairway, comprises four bedrooms, with parquet flooring, a billiard room, with a mezzanine and a wooden stairway. This floor communicates with a roof terrace spanning approx. 150 m².
The ferrymen's house
Facing the main house is that of the men who ferried the barges. So as to make navigation possible on the river Dropt, interrupted by the dyke bridge, a system was implemented from 1825 to 1855, whereby boats were raised via support straps connected to a dolly sliding on an overhead rail (the principle in fact of an aerial ferry bridge). Little appreciated by the bargemen whose boats sometimes broke in half, these installations were, as of 1855, replaced by lock systems that made navigation possible. The machine that ferried the boats, loaded with merchandise, was known as the “passe gabarres” or boat ferry.
Following the shutting down of the machine in 1829, the house and its facilities, bread oven, pigsty, aviary, etc. was occupied by a member of the mill staff. Around 1865, the ferrymen’s house was wired for the electricity produced for the flourmill by the hydroelectric turbine, the drive shaft of which can still be seen on the ground floor of the mill.
A donation, shown in the cartulary, shows that this mill existed on the site as of the 11th century. It was apparently preceded by a mill as of the Gallo-Roman era: as the little stone bridge, with its double arches, proves.
This mill, on the river Dropt, is composed of two large buildings:
- on the right bank, the old mill (and its little dovecote tower) fitted with three wheat grindstones;
- on the south or left bank, a hemp fulling mill, constructed prior to 1742, that perhaps followed the old flourmill.
A dyke bridge completely blocks the river, both mills being sited at each of its ends; they were connected to one another in 1861. Contrary to appearances, it is not a fortified building. In the 18th century, the north construction was extended by a bridge, with a double row of arches, which contained another two pairs of grinding stones and a fulling mill (a machine that was used, not for grinding the wheat but for fulling textiles). These mills were often referred to as “beating mills”. This southern section of the mill earned it the name of “little Chenonceau”. The mill with its stone access bridge, the vestiges of the old paved way bordering it, the masonry banks, the lock with its bollards, the house of the old boat ferrymen as well as the facades and roofs of the miller’s house were all given French Historic Monument listing in 2000.
The plots of land span a total of just over three hectares. They include a lake, several meadows and a few coppice stands as well as an orchard.
With its dyke bridge, the mill is the most outstanding in the area around Bordeaux. It has been preserved and the ferrymen’s house is undergoing renovation works. This property has been maintained and preserved from all sorts of trials and tribulations. The water continually soothes its residents, taking them back through the past centuries that fashioned these premises, a true summary of man’s history. Away from nuisances in the peace and quiet, this property has all the comfort required to accommodate its new owners. The listing of many of its buildings opens the door to financial aid which will help to give it back its splendour of yesteryear.
|Land registry surface area||3 ha 80 a 10 ca|
|Main building surface area||658 m2|
|Number of bedrooms||5|
|Outbuilding surface area||400 m2|
Christophe Grelier +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.