A 17th century mill and some 4 ha of land
1½ hours from Paris in Burgundy
Briare, NIEVRE burgundy 45250 FR

Location

In the Bourgogne-Franche-Comté region, in the Nièvre department where the borders of those of Yonne and Loiret meet, this mill lives in harmony with the river in the midst of a little verdant village. A village which, with its 17th century chateau constructed over an old feudal dwelling and its middle-class houses dating from 1870, is above all characterised by its historic heritage. Furthermore, the illustrious ceramic sculptor, Jean-Carriès, lived not far from this property. And, there is even a monument dedicated to him in the main village square. Near to this mill is a grocery which sells bread. Just a few kilometres away, Cosne-sur-Loire and Briare train stations provide links to Paris-Bercy taking less than two hours.

Description

This mill stands in the midst of the village.
A small house, on the left-hand side of a pedestrian entrance, is used as a workshop. The mill, an impressive L-shaped building spanning four levels, has quarry stone block walls and a slate roof. Then, behind the main house, an entrance with gates gives access into a gravel courtyard where cars can be parked. Going around the mill, flows the millrace and the first category, fish-filled river that crosses the parklands, surrounded by tall trees. Some of the tree roots provide an ideal haven for crayfish. A little passageway makes it possible to observe the weir, where the millrace overflows into a drainage ditch, and the mechanism for lifting and lowering the sluice-gates.
A short distance from the stream are the old stables, housing six horse loose boxes. Two wells, near to the mill, complete this property.

The mill

Once featuring two sets of machinery, this mill now only has one: a vertical wheel drives a power transmission mechanism ejecting the water that it uses at a distance from the building; a system that has been in use since 1880.
With its current layout, the construction inherits the architecture of a flour mill. The building rises four vertical storeys, like an “English mill”, the top level of which is illuminated via two semi-circular-arched openings, each set in a gable wall. Small-paned windows, with very light-coloured stone surrounds, enhance the facade. These premises are constructed from rendered limestone quarry blocks, with white, dressed limestone quoins and surrounds framing the openings. The construction is topped with a long-sloped roof, running north to south and covered with slate.
This first building is extended by a second. Its front facade features windows, adorned with solid, wooden shutters and stone quoins. Its gable roof is covered with slate. Behind, the section bordered by the millrace dates from 1874. This has rendered quarry stone block masonry enhancing the white limestone sills, jambs and lintels of the openings. The lower section is composed of ironstone which was hewn and assembled in an arch to form the top of the tunnel used by the water.


First level
The entrance door reveals a dining room, paved with a mix of old, octagonal and rectangular terracotta tiles. An opening gives a glimpse of a storeroom, with identical floor tiles and featuring small windows that illuminate the stone walls and the exposed beams. Facing the dining room is an authentic, fitted kitchen. A stone sink, adjoining an old wall, and terracotta floor tiles are dominated by exposed oak wood ceiling beams. A little further on is a large room, housing the mill mechanism. It is followed by a garage which opens on to the outside. Back by the main entrance, in the dining room, a door opens into a living room, embellished with a wood-burning stove, set in an engaged fireplace with jambs, a red brick chimney breast and a beam by way of a mantel. The windows illuminate everything: the ceiling, the old terracotta floor tiles as well as the stone and brick surrounds framing the openings. The walls are covered with a light beige-coloured lime rendering. A few steps give access to a vast living room enhanced with a mezzanine: an original area, probably dating from the construction period, featuring oak wood pillars. On one side is a little room, its floor completely covered with tiles. Its proximity to the other living rooms would make this ideal as a future kitchen. And lastly, courtesy of the numerous windows, this area is flooded in light from the mezzanine.
Second level
A straight wooden stairway goes up to the second level, characterised by its mezzanine, bordered by wrought iron railings. Old terracotta floor tiles and an exposed roofing framework define the area dominating the ground floor. It gives wonderful views looking down on both the large living room and the millrace. A little corridor leads to a first, spacious bedroom, with honey-coloured, wide strip, parquet flooring. A few steps guide visitors to a hall area, housing a dressing room, followed by a large, tiled bathroom, fitted with a cast iron bath. It then leads to a second bedroom, having the original feature of a door leading to the outside. A wide beam crosses the room, one side of which features an exposed stone wall.
Third level
Another two through bedrooms, one of which has a tiled shower room with a toilet. The tiles appear to have come from the famous Briare or Gien factories. In the first room is a historical hatch, once used for passing sacks of flour. The second one features an exposed roofing framework. The entire carcass has been renovated and all the doors and windows restored in keeping with good trade practices.
Fourth level
A vast room, with old poplar wood parquet flooring, with exposed, hammered stone. Large openings enhance the exceptional character of this room. A semi-circular-arched window in the gable gives a general view over the village and the surrounding countryside.

The outbuildings

A workshop stands near the mill, by the pedestrian entrance. It features small-paned openings, resembling those of the mill. The building is laid out all on one level. Its walls are made of quarry stone blocks. The door opens into a spacious room, spanning approx. 80 m², and two other smaller rooms, respectively spanning 8 and 8.50 m².
Behind the property, a boiler room houses an 18 m² water tank.
The old stables feature 6 horse loose boxes with wooden stable doors. The first two boxes span a surface area of 21 m² each and the other four measure 11 m² each.

Our opinion

Just 2 hours from the French capital, this mill, with its sober, classical architecture and its pleasant countrified setting, has been featured on many old postcards. The water and the home, the way of life and the tranquillity: such are the principles governing the premises. Without the river, this property would never have existed which is why it is governed by the stream. The well, the sluice-gates, the rotors, the sound of water and so on: the river gives the property its identity, it is responsible for its heritage.
To its advantage, the mill is currently undergoing works. The carcass has been completed but, parodying Aragon, the construction is sufficiently unfinished so as to give new owners the chance to determine its future. Its potential is great, but there is no doubt that the possibilities as regards accommodation, eco-farming and hydroelectricity are worth exploring.

500 000 €
Fees at the Vendor’s expense


See the fee rates

Reference 435752

Land registry surface area 4 ha 12 a 83 ca
Main building surface area 450 m2
Number of bedrooms 5
Outbuilding surface area 136 m2

Consultant


Isabelle Ponelle +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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