Information Vendee History
centuries the Vendée has made good use of the many rivers and streams that cross
the Department by harnessing their power to drive watermills. The power derived
by these mills was used for paper making, tanning, cloth and wool weaving,
fuller mills for degreasing and felting woolen fabrics, mills for washing and
dying cloth,Thistle mills with teasle covered drums for finishing woolen
fabrics, powder-mills for crushing charcoal, saltpeter & sulfur and mills
for grinding grain.
On the River
Sévre Nantaise there were no fewer than 145 water mills along a short
stretch of this picturesque river.
There are now only a few that are still
working, other mills have had their structures restored to be used as private
residences or let out as holiday rentals.
Watermills somehow conjure up
images of idyllic beauty spots, with gentle flowing rivers bubbling along tree
lined valleys with kingfishers darting with flashes of blue, weirs with quaint
stone built houses inside which the wheels and cogs turn rhythmically to the
sound of cascading water.
Below we have listed a few water mills that can be visited
or can be seen in their privileged locations.
Maison de la Riviere In the north east corner of the Vendee on the river
Petite Maine near St Georges Montaigu is the maison de la riviere which is
devoted to life of the river.
Maison de la Meunerie. Nieul-sur-l'Autise this working water mill turns out
flour for local bakeries and you can come and watch the miller at
Just outside the small town of Poire-sur-Vie this watermill is open to the
public during the summer season.
de Rambourg. On the river Yon at Nesmy this watermill is open for visits
during the summer season.
Foulon Mill, Cugand The last water driven foulon mill in
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