A 17th century watermill, with almost 2 hectares of land,
nestling in the midst of Brittany’s Trégor region
Tréguier, COTES-D'ARMOR brittany 22220 FR

Location

The emblematic character of Anatole-Le-Braz, French writer and lecturer in literature as well as folklore specialist in the Breton language, still hovers over the Trégor region that he loved so much and that took pride of place in his work. For instance, when talking about his great grandmother on his mother’s side, born in this very mill that bears witness to the flax breaking and scutching industry, he said: “Through her, I have descended from a bishop’s miller, of which I am very proud.” This property, constructed on the bank of a tributary of the river Jaudy, stands in a verdant setting half-way between Paimpol and Perros-Guirec. Less than 10 minutes away from the town of Tréguier, the historic capital of the Trégor region, which has all daily shops and amenities. 15 minutes from Lannion TGV train station, with its 3½-hour links to Paris. And lastly, less than 20 minutes from Penvenan’s fine sandy beaches.

Description

This property is set in the hollow of a furrow made by a tributary, with features that are not usually found in Brittany. In fact, to the left of the buildings, the river, flowing wide and slow, crosses the meadows further downstream in long meanders. To the right, the steep, wooded and maintained relief stands out like a natural rampart. The riverine vegetation along this river comprises herbaceous plants, shrubs and tall trees. The surroundings are peaceful and completely unoverlooked. The sea and the Jaudy estuary are nearby, but the limit to the saltiness of the water is right by the mill. The tidal movement means that the landscape is constantly changing. The mill and its house are to be found at the end of a no-through track suitable for cars. Shady, grassy and gently sloping, it is used but by the property owners. The buildings dominate the water and are protected by a low wall and a bushy hedge. The leisure gardens are terraced. The millrace, a little, man-made, diversion canal still in use and running parallel to the river, takes water under the arch of the house to the mill gable. The wheel is no longer in existence, but there are still some vestiges of the mechanism. In the background, an aqueduct bridge, constructed in the early 12th century to supply water to the town of Tréguier, catches the eye. It is characterised by a single level of arcades. The piers as well as the semi-circular arches are still intact. The keystone and the voussoirs are perfectly preserved. Nowadays, it is listed as a French Historic Monument and is regularly maintained by the commune to which it belongs. The track leading to the property continues under the aqueduct bridge, coming to an end on a lower level. A few outbuildings on either side are used for storing equipment and firewood.

The mill

Constructed in 1650, this mill is topped with gable roofs, covered with Sizun slate, and flanked by a semi-engaged candlesnuffer tower. It features seven hip roof dormers, all enhanced with finials. The walls are built from shale quarry blocks and the surrounds framing the openings from granite. The windows, varying in size, stand out courtesy of their ogee lintels. Two semi-circular-arched doors on the south facade provide access to a terrace. The latter opens on to a leisure garden which has a superb view over the river and its banks. Some windows are fitted with defensive wrought iron bars. The millrace runs alongside the east gable. A section of the waterwheel’s mechanism is still visible and can be seen when crossing the bridge that leads to the house. Wrought iron railings are elegantly aligned so that residents can lean on them whilst admiring the movement of the water. The mill underwent excellent, authentic renovation works throughout a few years ago.


Ground floor
A robust wooden door opens into an entrance hall with a linen room and a toilet on the right-hand side. Then, a second wooden door, meticulously carved and fitted with its thumb latch, opens into a vast, through living room comprising a fitted kitchen area and a lounge-dining room. The many openings let copious amounts of light into these areas. For instance, a French window at the start of the lounge opens on to a south-facing terrace. A wide, picture window on the north side gives an unobstructed view of the river, its verdant surroundings and the aqueduct. The good quality, authentic materials include robust exposed beams resting on stone seating, granite tiles covering the kitchen floor, lime-rendered walls and the wooden parquet flooring that gives such a welcoming atmosphere to the relaxation area. Two monumental, granite fireplaces face one another from each of the gable walls. Bases, moulding, jambs, corbeling and lintels have stood the test of time and are perfectly preserved. And lastly, a contemporary, wooden stairway, with an intermediate landing, is installed along the load-bearing wall, providing access upstairs.
First floor
A night-time landing provides access to three bedrooms, with parquet flooring, a bathroom, with a shower, and a toilet. One bedroom in particular stands out courtesy of its layout. It is partially set under the elegant cathedral ceiling of the candlesnuffer tower. Lined with wood as well as lime-rendering and enhanced with a granite fireplace, it features an open-plan bathroom. The latter, with onyx-coloured tiles, is illuminated by two square windows. Its layout follows the curves of the tower. An old-fashioned bath gives a view, not only of the exterior vista, but also of the unusual interior architecture. The two other bedrooms also have their own water supply points.

The house

This house takes the form of a tall, rectangular building, spanning three levels, topped with a gable, slate roof featuring three hip roof dormers. One third of the building stands on an arched vault, with the millrace running underneath. Numerous openings, with their white, wooden shutters, are set in the south facade, composed like the mill from shale quarry blocks and granite. Similarly, a terraced leisure garden is laid out on a level with the ground floor. The rear facade of this house is plainer. It has, however, been enhanced with a protruding section, made of half-timbering.


Ground floor
The entrance door is on the north side. A few steps give access to a vast room. Honeycomb-shaped floor tiles, exposed beams and lime-rendered walls are the various features in this area, made luminous by three windows. It precedes a lounge, with a fireplace topped with a carved, wooden lintel, creating a large area for residents to relax. A French window opens on to a terrace and its garden, with a view of the river. This level also includes a bathroom as well as a shower room and a toilet. There is no connection between the ground and first floors.
First floor
This level is reached via a robust, semi-circular-arched, studded wooden door, fitted with defensive ironwork and set in the south-facing facade. Inside, a lounge-living room opens on to a fitted kitchen. A few authentic features have been preserved such as the wooden parquet flooring, the door and window frames as well as an open-stairway and a granite fireplace. The walls are lime-rendered and the beams have been painted in light hues to ensure even more luminosity. At the end, facing the entrance door, is a bathroom, made surprising not only by its location but also its layout. It is, in fact, installed in the little section that protrudes from the north facade. Seen from the outside, it looks like a miniature half-timbered house, with its two characteristic features which are its wooden framework and its filler made of cob or plaster. Its four windows give a panoramic view of the mill and the aqueduct. The toilet is nearby. And lastly, a little corridor goes from the living room to two bedrooms, with sea-rush matting as well as a view of the millrace and the natural surroundings.
Second floor
These areas are laid out under the rafters, forming a cathedral ceiling. The floor surface area is divided into three sections, given over to sleeping. Through light comes from the south via roof dormers and from the north via little skylights, enhanced with carved wood.

The outbuildings

The three outbuildings are laid out on either side of the track behind the houses. A barn is the tallest and most spacious building. It is followed by the old pigsties, an annex building with a mezzanine, and an open farm shed.

The garden

The grassy areas used for leisure purposes are laid out in plots adjoining the buildings. Cultivated or selected plants grow there. The various species appreciate the climate as well as their setting. The creation of the millrace led to the construction of several low walls and flights of stone steps as a means of organising the activity around the mill. These robust, granite features contrast with the flora. Most of the land beyond the area around the mill is composed of woods that extend alongside the river.

Our opinion

This property, out of sight of onlookers, offers unique panoramic views that vary in keeping with the weather, the season and the tide. The atmosphere here is peaceful. These premises are a promise of relaxation and meditation. The actual architectural heritage, bearing witness to the past and to its local, ancestral industry, is in need of some attention. Know-how has been handed down here from one generation to another, giving the property an almost sacred character. The omnipresent, flowing water, sometimes peaceful, sometimes turbulent, fresh or salt, rising and falling, can get close to the walls but always stays a fair distance away. It is an outstanding natural sight. With its endless movement, the river invites residents to follow it to the sea aboard small boats, sailing the meanders that lead to the estuary.

1 352 000 €
Fees at the Vendor’s expense


See the fee rates

Reference 981654

Land registry surface area 16921 m2
Main building surface area 300 m2
Number of bedrooms 8
Outbuilding surface area 250 m2

Consultant


Chrystelle Masson +33 1 42 84 80 85

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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.

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