Report - - Barsac Mill, Aquitaine, France, August 2016 | European and International Sites | 28DaysLater.co.uk

Report - Barsac Mill, Aquitaine, France, August 2016


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The Explore:

This place was probably my favourite explore of all of my French trip. I found it by chance – passing it on the road to Bordeaux. I stopped to take a few externals but knew I had to return to give this place a proper look-see. A day of so after I returned after sunrise to explore it. It is in private ownership and has been abandoned for some time now. It is in a bit of a poor way as you will see from the pictures. Fortunately it didn’t take long to find a way in and reveal its treasures.

The History:

There’s some history about this place in French which I’ve tried to piece together, plus some interesting old postcard shots of what the place looked like in the 1900s.

The mill is situated on the Ciron River, just outside Barsac, Aquitaine, France. It was originally built in the thirteenth century as a wheat mill and then rebuilt in the 15th after its destruction. The Carthusians of Bordeaux bought the mill in 1670 and rebuilt the bridge in 1679 with the help of the architect Nicolas Mévisson. It was then rebuilt for a second time in 17th century between 1686 and 1689 under the direction of architect Bernard Cazeneuve. In 1711 it boasted 4 pairs of millstones and reached its peak in the eighteenth century, when it was the largest mill in the region. It was then sold in 1794 and subsequently expanded with housing for the workers added (records identify the mill having 18 workers in total in 1826) and the number of millstones was increased to 7 pairs, agian in 1826.

A picture of the mill, possibly circa 1900:

Old mill Barsac by HughieDW, on Flickr

In 1900 a steam engine took over from the horizontal waterwheels as these were frequently rendered inoperative due to their flooding by the river. In 1920 turbines were installed for the production of electricity.

A slightly later picture from 1926:

Old mill Barsac 1926 by HughieDW, on Flickr

After that information gets a bit sketchy as to when the mill shut and how it ended up in the current state of abandonment. Clearly, though, it has been empty for some time. On with the pictures.

Front view with the River Ciron in the foreground:

img6852 by HughieDW, on Flickr

Side elevation of the left side of the mill:

img6846 by HughieDW, on Flickr

Entry bridge from road level:

img6848 by HughieDW, on Flickr

And some modern additions to the bridge:

img6936 by HughieDW, on Flickr

Nature creeping up on this part:

img6849 by HughieDW, on Flickr

img6851 by HughieDW, on Flickr

This window would have been grand with its balcony:

img6847 by HughieDW, on Flickr

img6935 by HughieDW, on Flickr

img6947 by HughieDW, on Flickr

Part of the water management machinery:

img6937 by HughieDW, on Flickr

img6948 by HughieDW, on Flickr

Inside there is the odd bit of graff:

img6939 by HughieDW, on Flickr

The roof of the right side of the mill is a bit sketchy!

img6941 by HughieDW, on Flickr

But some of the wheels and mechanics of the mill still remain:

img6942 by HughieDW, on Flickr

img6943 by HughieDW, on Flickr

The chimney on the right side of the mill:

img6945 by HughieDW, on Flickr

Now back round to the left hand side again:

img6949 by HughieDW, on Flickr

Love the vaulting of the workshops here:

img6951 by HughieDW, on Flickr

img6952 by HughieDW, on Flickr

img6954 by HughieDW, on Flickr

Not much inside but in one of the better condition rooms there where these half full bottles of red wine!

img6957 by HughieDW, on Flickr

Were these millstones?

img6959 by HughieDW, on Flickr

What an enchanting place…

img6960 by HughieDW, on Flickr