Tourist Information, Vendee History, Accommodation, Photos, Reviews, Maps,
Chateauneuf is situated on the edge of the Marais Breton,
on what was the perimeter of the ancient forest of Garnache, but where
today only small woods remain. The town get its name from a castle that
was built in the middle-ages, the new castle (château neuf) replaced a
watch tower that had stood on top of a small hillock.
The church in this pleasant little village has one of the oldest bells in the Vendée which dates from 1487.
Le Petit Moulin. The present windmill which was built in 1703
stands on the site of a wooden windmill that was built in 1573 by the
lords of Garnache. The current mill was modernised by Louis-Marie
Vrignard in 1892 when the sails of canvas were replaced by "Berton"
wooden slatted sails these are replaced every 50 years or so, the last
replacement being in 1994.
The mill has been in the Vrignard family since 1840, spanning 5 generations and its present owner Michel Vrignaud opens the mill to visitors
with explanations and demonstrations on the engaging of wooden gear,
the adjustment of the wooden sails and all of the processes that go into
milling. The mill still produces flour by using a pairs of millstones,
but there are also puzzle games and a children's playground.
The Au Panier de Chateauneuf is the farm shop next to the windmill, where you can purchase local produce and souvenirs.
Return to find more interesting towns and villages in the Vendee
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