Ancient Water Mill Now a Holiday Cottage in France

When the water mill was built, the Limousin part of France was controlled by the English military. The mill was built in about 1276 and the local commander of the garrison lived in a house alongside a bridge over the river Beraude.  As he was a member of the British gentry the area became known as ‘Le Pont de Chez Lord’ meaning literally The Bridge of the House of the Lord.

‘Le Moulin de Chez Lord’ (which means The Mill of the House of the Lord) was built close by the house.  It was needed to mill the flour to bake bread to feed the military and also to grind the oats for the horses.  Do not forget that this was long before the arrival in Europe of the potato and bread was the main source of carbohydrate. The mill was still in use until the 1980s when it prepared animal feed.  The mill is now a holiday cottage in the central part of France known as the Limousin.

Now traveling towards the East there is the Massive Central which is a mountainous area now famous for skiing in the winter.  Turning now towards the west a short trip takes you to Limoges, very famous for its porcelain manufacture and going further still the coastal city of La Rochelle the largest fishing center in the Bay of Biscay. This very interesting city is now also a holiday resort and a major center for sea food.

The region known as the Limousin is a relatively new one on the tourist map it was until recently a typically French holiday area however the secret is now out. It is a region of forests, grasslands, hills and valleys with charming hamlets nestled in the valleys. The region contains countless numbers of lakes in the many valleys which make for exceptional vistas. Most rural activities are readily available.  Especially prominent amongst these are the wonderful walks of every degree of difficulty thus suiting all abilities and levels of enthusiasm.

The ancient mill is 700 years old, and was constructed to supply flour for English military who were stationed here to look after the British wine interests around Bordeaux. The watermill is nestled in the valley and includes 20 acres of pasture and woodland. The mill is at the end of a long drive which ensures tranquility.

The river Beraude and the mill stream almost surround the mill and just a few meters from the front door is a waterfall which was the overspill for the mill pool. The river runs through the garden and encloses a tiny island with several pine trees that is wonderful for relaxing on those very hot days as it always has a wind coming off the river.  We also often have parties and barbecues there on summer days.

The granary of the mill has now been made into two double bedrooms en suite and the downstairs into a living area with kitchen, lounge etc. There is a shaded patio area by the waterfall which is perfect for al fresco dining or for having a glass of wine on the long summer evenings.

Since we are lucky enough live in the center of a very historic region and in the most beautiful countryside, in future we will further explore the region and describe the abundant attractions.

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