Restored water millOn over 2 hectares of land
4 Bedroom House on River
If you have ever imagined life on the riverbank, when the days are scorching hot, and the riverbank ablaze with flowers, then this could be
the property for you…..
This exceptional property is located on the edge of a village a short ten-minute drive from Lectoure with Saint Clar
lying an equal distance on the other side.
What is special about this property?
Gascony is not a department particularly well-known for its rivers or lakes.
The few that there are will often be man-made and dug by farmers, draining during the hot summer months.
For buyers who dream of fishing in their own waters or living a gentle bucolic life to the sound of a lapping stream, very much in the style
of The wind in the Willows, then this is not only a rare and desirable property but one which is in excellent condition.
How do the current owners manage the ebb and flow of the river?
The current owners have done much to work the banks of the river and to manage the flow of water under the mill; the sluice gates
being opened and closed in accordance with the flow of water and the fall of rain to prevent a situation
in which the stream might ever burst its banks.
In this way the site is managed perfectly, and the river a joy to behold.
The current owners have also dug a canal for the extra overflow of water. In case of absence from the property, the sluice gates
are left permanently open to prevent any back log of water, so that they might travel abroad with full peace of mind.
The gentle lap of water in the background is peaceful, in the same way as the sound of waves is calming on the nerves.
For those who feel immediately replenished by the presence, sight, or sound of water, then this property is a rare treat.
In a nutshell, how to describe the approach to the property and the site?
We turn the car into a pleasant driveway, where a gravel parking area offers room for several vehicles.
There are two main buildings on the site: the atelier – currently an artist’s studio, with its covered terrace area
to our left, and the mill house to the right.
A small hump-backed terrace and bridge separates the two. Standing on the bridge there is a view upstream as our line of vision
follows the rivers back, fringed with its many trees, their leaves caressing the surface of the water as it flows along beneath the house.
Beyond the stream there is a lawn, which belongs to the property, from which we can see the gentle rise of the land
towards the famer’s organic field beyond.
In total the property offers a little over two hectares of land.
What of the trees and birds?
This is a natural wildlife haven, and we learn from the current owners that the waters are inhabited by a healthy stock of carp.
The water has been tested and is unpolluted, with the fields around the water mill being organically farmed.
There are plenty of birds, skimming the water and the many shrubs and plants attract a variety of insects.
What is the living accommodation in the property?
This a spacious property and best viewed to appreciate, but in summary there are four bedrooms, four shower rooms, a fantastic
kitchen with a woodburning stove, an elegant dining-room, a study area on the mezzanine, and a large reception room
on the first floor, which offers a vast amount of space for entertaining as well as a stunning view of the river bank.
The atelier could form a separate studio or guest accommodation, but is currently used
by the artist in residence, the owner herself, where she can beaver away in peace and quiet.
A kitchen and a separate WC have been installed on the ground floor.
The covered terrace area creates a huge outdoor reception room for summer parties.
View of the house from the river
Why were the current owners drawn to this property?
Having always grown up by the sea and close to water, living in this property might be described as living on a very large
and luxurious boat, the stone mill straddling the stream as it does.
On our very first viewing we could both imagine how the property would work for us, with the barn and its studio conversion
providing a perfect artist’s atelier and the house offering separate living quarters. In this way when family or friends
came to stay, everyone was able to enjoy their independence.
The main house was spacious enough to house five children, when everyone was present, or alternatively it could be closed down
in parts to provide a snug winter home for just the two of us.
Although on our first visit the true beauty of the property was not yet revealed, and much work
subsequently required, we immediately appreciated the beauty of the stone and the architecture of the two buildings, as well as the way
the two structures sit slightly apart yet facing one another, with their corner stones at right angles, so that walking over the bridge
between the two, there is a sense of entering a private world.
As we suspected, the barn is the perfect party space and has been used as such many times over the past ten years
Can the property flood?
The mill has never flooded, despite the rush of waters beneath its foundations in times of rain.
The newly dug canal and the strict maintenance of the sluice gates which should not be left closed during absence
or very wet weather, keep the house as dry as a bone.
What is the advantage of keeping the sluice gates closed at times?
In so doing the level of water rises and when the river is low this keeps the water in a “lake” which is beautiful to look at, forming a fountain
which cascades down onto the lower level. When there is too much water, the gates are open, and the water flows up stream
Do you need to be present all year round?
Not necessarily, although this property works better as a main place of residence and not a second home.
In case of absence the flood gates are left open.
Have you enjoyed ownership of the water mill?
We have been here for ten years and we could not write enough to tell you how much we have enjoyed our time here.
Is there much going on in the village?
For a small village, there is a lot going on – and we enjoy music nights, festivals and the Hunter’s Meal.
Locals gather to watch rugby matches and once a month we enjoy a cookery class. It is difficult not to join in one activity or another.
Where do you shop?
Shops are easy to find, and a short car run will bring you to the popular market towns of Lectoure on one side, and St Clar on the other.
In both towns there is a weekly market, and an Intermarché, as well as a plethora of individual grocery shops in Lectoure.
In Lectoure there is a primary school, a pizzeria and a restaurant, as well as a cutting-edge Mediatech.
In Saint Clar there is a primary school and a secondary school, talking children all the way up to Baccalaureate
To whom will this property appeal?
The entire cast from the Wind in the Willows…. But other than Toad, Ratty and Mr Mole… anyone who loves the sound or sight of water.
Life on the riverbank offers a plethora of sights and sounds, and a living backdrop to one’s life which is a joy for anyone like the current owner, for whom water is an attraction. It is easy to feel that one is on permanent holiday here.
Lovers of history will appreciate the vast mill stones, and the sluices inside the mill house.
The architecture of the property and the functionality of the machinery are impressive as it the glass topped cover on the ground floor which offers a view of the gushing water below.
The author of this text is entirely seduced by the location of this property… and imagines that it is indeed a rare privilege to live here.
This is a characterful period home with a fantastic country-living style kitchen at its heart, certain to please anyone looking for a property requiring very little work.
Key points of note
Land Surface : 2 hectares
Roof revised and cleaned in 2018
Insulation: rock wool
Partial double glazing in wood
Oil-fired central heating
Pellet burner in the upstairs living room
Wood burner in the kitchen and wood fired stove
Oil consumption – approximately 1500 litres per year
Studio heated by a portable gas radiator
Hot water heated by oil or by electricity
A LINKY smart metre has been installed.
Click images to enlarge