character houses for sale - yonne - burgundy region

A watermill with its paddlewheel and water ownership rights
standing on a peninsula spanning almost 1 hectare in Yonne

Tonnerre, YONNE burgundy 89700 FR


Near to a traditional village in the French department of Yonne.
2 hours from Paris (a slip road on to the A6 motorway is 30 minutes away), and 1½ hours from Dijon.
In a tourist region, much appreciated for its vineyards, crossed by the Burgundy canal.
Chablis is some twenty kilometres away; rural multi-use paths leading to Dijon pass right by this property.
An SNCF train station is but 5 minutes away.
All shops and amenities are 6 km away.


The village, laid out lengthwise, is bordered on a lower level by the canal and the river Armançon. Pasturelands are dotted between the two stretches of water. The mill, standing at the end of the little village, is separated from it by the Burgundy canal.
Its ideal location is isolated but still very much in touch with the village way of life.
This mill, taking pride of place on its island between the millrace and the river, blends harmoniously with its surroundings.
Once past the lock and the first bridge, an attractive chestnut tree lined alleyway provides rapid access to the garden and the buildings.
These are numerous and of a variety of sizes. Constructed facing one another, parallel to the two stretches of water, they also provide the property with a small inner U-shaped courtyard, closed at the end by an open barn.
The land continues at the back, coming to a point at the spot where the millrace and the river become one wider stretch of water.
At the end, a pretty little cabin has been built up in the trees.
All the buildings, typical of the region, are constructed from limestone quarry blocks, with generous pointing made from lime rendering, reinforced in places with dressed stone.
The walls and the corners feature robust, vertical, exposed stone quoins.
Most of the window framing also features exposed stone.
The double, central door and the window above it are different as they are both enhanced with superb sculpted stone framing which probably came from the old abbey, destroyed at the time of the French Revolution.
The old pigsties were, however, built of brick and still have their original iron door.
The hip and gable roofs are covered with Burgundy tiles; the window frames and doors are made of oak wood.

The mill

This mill’s archives date back to the year 1810. The main mill building was probably constructed at this time from much older materials almost certainly coming from the old abbey.
After a succession of numerous owners such as monks, a countess and a broker, this mill became the property of a miller who operated it until 1960. The mill was extremely busy at this time, providing all the villages within a wide range with flour.
Then, having sold the rights to grind bread flour to industrial flourmills, this mill was only left with its inalienable water ownership rights and the right to grind cereals such as barley, maize and oats for animal fodder.
Remaining from the old mill are two large paddlewheels, the grinding stones as well as the main gearing and transmission mechanism.

The house

The ground and first floors, laid out in the flour mill buildings, are currently used for accommodation purposes.
The living rooms span a floor surface area of approx. 200 m².

Ground floor
The house is entered via a superb oak wood door. This half-hallway, half-workshop contains the mill’s machinery.
The entire gearing system is still in position and operational, connected to the millstones on the first floor. Once the paddlewheel is activated by the opening of the sluice-gates, everything starts up and the heart of the old mill begins to beat. The power given off by the mechanism is impressive and quite touching.
This room, laid out lengthwise, is paved with superb flagstones. Behind, a door provides access to the paddlewheels.
The current owner, so as to get this old mechanism going again, enthusiastically restored one of the paddlewheels and modified the sluice-gates on the millrace, composed of Douglas pinewood pins.
On the right-hand side, a smaller 3-storey building, adjoining the mill, is actually in use as an office on the ground floor. A small partitioned stairway provides access to the upstairs bedrooms.
On the left-hand side of the entrance, a door leads to an independent dwelling, spanning approx. 33 m² and comprising a kitchen, a lounge and a toilet. It has a door leading to the garden.
An adjoining blocked doorway could provide access to another room which is currently in use as a workshop. The attic space could be converted.
There is an opening on the garden side, making all these small buildings easily independent from one another.
Constructed at right angles, the old dwelling occupied by the miller’s lad comprises a small house with a gable roof. Spanning a single level, it is currently used as storage space.

First floor
The living space on this level spans approx. 141 m².
The owners have concentrated their living quarters on this floor. All the windows provide a variety of enchanting views of the millrace, the river, etc.
A partially partitioned, wooden stairway, set in the entrance hall on the ground floor, leads up to the living room.
This large room, with its low ceiling, its exposed beams and its oak wood parquet flooring, brings to mind the atmosphere of “stubs”, the Alsatian word for those large communal, comfortable rooms in the old local houses.
This was the old milling room; the grinding stones are still there and are in good working order!
This area leads to all the other rooms which include a lounge-library, a toilet, a kitchen, three bedrooms and a study on the garden side, most of which have a view over the water that encircles the mill.

This large attic, spanning approx. 110 m², can still be put to good use. Its wonderful oak wood roofing framework remains exposed.
A small bedroom with a sloping ceiling has been converted at the end.

The outbuildings

The outbuildings, spread out over the property, make it possible to shelter all kinds of vehicles.
A tall farm shed closes the end of the courtyard. The old barn, standing perpendicular to and facing the mill, houses two garages and a pantry. An adjoining covered area accommodates a summer kitchen.
And lastly, a much lower brick building is home to a set of pigsties still featuring their original solid iron doors.

A wood cabin is set in a tree overlooking the river, where the land comes to a point.
The total property spans a little more than 1.2 ha, surrounded by water.

Our opinion

Nature and age-old human toil together form this mill with its wild water, its controlled water, its waterfall, its stone bridge, its hiking trail, its pasturelands and its copses of trees. It is furthermore protected by its setting, on an island, and by the layout of its buildings, placed around a private courtyard. But it is not all just for show, an enthusiast has kept all the machinery in good working order. Works could be carried out inside depending on personal tastes and projects. Those who enjoy contemplation will be able to choose between the fast-moving current of the river Armançon and the pleasure boats travelling slowly along the Burgundy canal; possibly with a glass of Chablis in hand.

330 000 €
Honoraires à la charge du vendeur

Voir le Barème d'Honoraires

Barème d'honoraires
au 1er Avril 2017

Ventes d'immeubles

À Paris et en Ile-de-France
Prix de vente au-delà de 600 000 euros       5% TTC*
Prix de vente de 400 000 à 600 000 euros   6% TTC*
Prix de vente de 200 000 À 400 000 euros   7% TTC*
Prix de vente jusqu'à 200 000 euros             9% TTC*
Honoraires à la charge du Vendeur

En Province
Prix de vente au-delà de 500 000 euros       6% TTC*
Prix de vente jusqu'à 500 000 euros   30 000 Euros TTC* (forfait)
Honoraires à la charge du Vendeur


Avis de valeur argumenté : 1 800 Euros TTC*
Expertise à partir de 2 400 Euros TTC*
Les tarifs des expertises sont communiqués sur devis personnalisé établi sur la base d’un taux horaire moyen de 120 Euros TTC*


*TTC : TVA incluse au taux de 20 %

Reference 659441

Land registry surface area 11479 m2
Main building surface area 200 m2
Outbuilding surface area 78 m2


 French Energy Performance Diagnosis

Regional representative

Michel Barré       +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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