A mill, with full water rights, and its many outbuildings
in the Auvézère Gorges between Limoges, Brive and Périgueux
Savignac-Lédrier, DORDOGNE aquitaine 24270 FR

Location

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.

Description

In the midst of the woods, off a steep-sided, no-through road that continues as a hiking trail, crossing the river and going back upstream, six buildings are laid out as a hamlet, extending alongside the grassy bank. Two houses flank a courtyard, bathed in sunlight all day long. A weir across the river diverts part of the current to a headrace that passes under an old, stone, walnut-oil plant, spanning four levels. In addition, a millstream crosses the foundations of the old mill, shaped like a raised, square pavilion, and rejoins the river downstream after a few meanders, thus creating a little verdant islet in the middle of the river.
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.


Garden level
Former area containing the shafts driven by the wheel, this level is laid out above the millstream and left empty in case of flooding.
First floor
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.
Second floor
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.


Ground floor
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.
First floor
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.
Barn
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.
Shelter carts
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.
The stables
Adjoining the “charretterie”, this small building is divided into three horse loose boxes.
Open barn
Its facade on the courtyard side is characterised by two columns that divide the area into three relatively large, car parking spaces.
Pigtail
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.

Our opinion

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.

Exclusive sale

698 000 €
Fees at the Vendor’s expense


See the fee rates

Reference 440306

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

French Energy Performance Diagnosis

Consultant


Jonathan Barbot +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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