The mill in 2003
A touch of history
In 1819, there were only two economic sources of energy : wind and
This mill was built at a place called PECH-ROUZAUD to supplement an already
existing water mill at Villeneuve-Minervois. It was exploited until 1890
and Pierre OURLIAC was the last miller.
No other craftsman probably ever re-exploited the mill, which fell in
decrepitude gradually, undoubtedly the wooden parts were retrieved for
construction, unless a fire destroyed it entirely.
In any case, in the eighties the last vestiges of its past were, apart
from the walls, fragments of grinding stones scattered in the heap of
brickbats which covered the grounds of the mill in the midst of the vines.
The meticulous work of Mr. Alibaud gives us all the details of the infrastructure
of the mill.
The vestiges in 2001
In 2001, Frederic Bénazeth, young contractor and son of the last
owner, having discovered the history of this mill which was yet only a
circular wall filled up with rubble, decides to put his enthusiasm and
his passion in the rebuilding of the mill.
He then calls upon a craftsman specialized in the restoration of ancient
framework, in order to reconstitute the mechanisms as precisely as possible,
while preserving the mills charm.
Assembly of the cap
Initially the masonry needed to be cleaned, fortunately it had not suffered
too much from the ravages of time. The mechanism was reconstituted in
a workshop according to ancient models, then transferred to the site.
The whole of the moving parts of the mill is gathered in the cap or "capélada"
which supports the driving shaft, the gears, and which is directional
to follow the direction of the wind.
The delicate moment was the mounting of the cap, followed by the rigging
of the canvas.
And then there were the first turns of the wings... what an emotion to
see this majestic mechanism branning itself, as if it had been slumbering
for a century, waiting for a new miller!
The first flours produced according to the ancestral methods immediately
revealed the lost taste of authenticity.
A dvd/video cassette is for sale at the mill, 25 min./15 €.