The History of Le Moulin
The Moulin du Meunier was built in 1737 and until World War 1 produced both flour and olive oil, powered by the river Vidourle . Known at that time as the ‘Le Moulin Neuf’ or ‘new mill’ its owner, Louis Martin, died in the Great War and is commemorated on the war memorial in Quissac.
The place where the waterwheel used to turn can still be seen, cut into the mill’s quay. The caves where the milling took place are under the mill and three of the enormous grind stones are still there, as are the spaces where the pulley system was located.
The Vidourle is one of the most important rivers in the Gard and is fed by a source in the nearby Cevennes. Locals are used to expecting periodic episodes cevenoles which typically occur in the autumn when the river can rapidly break its banks and flood the low-lying surrounding fields from a low base. The commune’s mairie has an early warning system to alert those in the flood plain. The floods subside almost as quickly as they rise and rarely impact the mill which is protected by a wall shaped like the prow of a ship - originally a Roman design, the wall effectively separates any large waves that surge down the Vidourle and protect the integrity of the mill.
The last time these defences were breached was 9 September 2002. All buildings along the Vidourle flood plain had to wait until 2005 before approval was granted to rebuild - in some cases approval was not allowed as in the case of the “old” mill of Rauret, built in the 16th century, which had to be demolished but whose ruins remain a popular focal point for river bathing .
Following its restoration , the new mill - now named Moulin du Meunier - was styled one of the best restored buildings on the river Vidourle by the regional paper, “Midi Libre” . Many of its original features remain including the basins in the metre-thick stone walls, a vaulted mezzanine, two large fireplaces - one of which is working - and many of the mill workings in the caves.
The current owners, Steven & Louise Maisel, purchased the mill in 2009 and regularly welcome families of holidaymakers from across the world with Americans, Australians, Belgians, British, Canadians, Dutch, French, Germans, Italians and Swiss enjoying its peace and tranquillity.
The Moulin du Meunier is fully and comfortably furnished to enhance its 18th century history whilst enjoying a modern kitchen and bathroom.