near to the sea in the French department of Pas-de-Calais
Some 15 km from a motorway providing links to Paris in less than 2½ hours.
Equidistant between Berck and Fort-Mahon beaches.
20 minutes from Somme Bay and its nature reserve, Marquenterre Park with its migratory birds and just a stone’s throw from Valloires Abbey.
On the outskirts of a village with 180 inhabitants.
On one side of a paved courtyard, a guest house or caretaker’s cottage and, on the other, the mill, its successive extensions and its annexe buildings, the mass of rooftops of which gives an impression of a hamlet.
A little background
The origin of these premises as a mill dates back to the early Middle-Ages, a time where there were in fact three mills.
It passed from noble to religious hands and became a major source of revenue courtesy of the taxes that it obtained. Many farmers, a long way inland and as far as the sea, were obliged to have their wheat ground by this mill.
In the 19th century, a sale advert stated that the mill used four sets of millstones.
It continued working until the 20th century.
Its last miller, Mr Bossu, took over the mill in 1947 from his wife’s parents whose family had owned the mill for generations. He stopped producing flour and oil in 1958 and changed to the production of cattle fodder up until 1978.
This robust, tall building (three levels topped with attic space) was constructed from both brick and stone. It has a slate roof. An adjoining and intercommunicating section, a floor lower in height has an asbestos-cement roof which needs replacing, a quote is available. Set at right angles, a third section, even lower by yet another floor, stands alongside the water. And lastly, an adjoining but separate outbuilding spanning a single-storey under attic space almost closes the courtyard that it borders.
The roofs here are covered with tiles and some gables are clad with wood.
The inside comprises 12 bedrooms spread throughout the various levels, a large dining room, a kitchen and a large room which could be used as a lounge, a workshop and a library-living room.
The intentionally rustic decor still has a large number of its original features. Terracotta tile floors, three-tone diamond-shaped tiles dating from the 1900’s, French ceilings, a fireplace with a carved wood mantel and a Dutch tile hearth, strip pattern parquet flooring as well as wooden door and window frames.
Upstairs, the decor is plain and some bathrooms were recently redone. 12 bedrooms, 6 bathrooms and a shower room.
An attic could easily be converted.
Although spanning a relatively small surface area, the parklands encompass a landscape that will never change and therefore there is no advantage to owning it.
On one side, the wide, wild and peaceful arm of a river and, on the other, a tranquil, tamed canal.
A large lawn, bordered with flower beds, and a courtyard, paved with old stone between the buildings, virtually complete this property which cannot be viewed from end to end. The nooks and crannies to be found in the parklands make it possible for residents to cut themselves off and appreciate the omnipresent nature.
The guest house or caretaker’s cottage
The inside of this house was recently renovated and has not yet been lived in. Bamboo flooring on the ground floor and solid wood floors upstairs.
New electric wiring and plumbing. The kitchen and bathroom still await furnishing but everything has been laid on.
A lounge, a kitchen, a bathroom and three bedrooms including one on the ground floor.
A wine cellar.
Two small farm sheds, built in a similar style using brick, stone and wood cladding, are used for garage and storage purposes.
All that remains of the mill is its name and, above all, its setting.
A little nature reserve in itself. On one side cows, on the other, fish. The first, nicely plump courtesy of the salty-flavoured grass on which they graze, the latter, salmon and trout swimming tirelessly between the sea and the streams in keeping with the seasons.
The sea is so close that residents can smell it. Ducks, coots and seagulls fight for space in the air and on the water.
Those coming to live here will have to love just listening and know how to contemplate what is a permanent show.
With 12 bedrooms spread throughout the buildings, these premises could be shared by several generations or families. It would even be possible to convert a few additional ones in the existing covered surface areas.
This property exudes a Flemish air that is both austere, because of the materials used, and appealing, because of its architecture.
|Land registry surface area||4640 m2|
|Main building surface area||460 m2|
|Number of bedrooms||12|
Patrice Besse +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.