The Laveau Mill

This ancient sixteenth-century water mill with an unsinkable causeway was mentioned in 1547 when Louis de Villiers, lord of Graffinières and of Lavau-Festu, brought suit against François Ligeard accused of illegal fishing at the mill, and in a judgment by the city of Montbron on May 12, 1563.

The mill is supplied by a nearly one-kilometer long reach.  The main device of the reaches and discharge canals is still regulated by valves. It was still in use up until it was devastated by a fire in 1954.  It was born again from the ashes, having lost one floor and its wheel, and became a dwelling.

The 8 hectares of land that surround it, the reach, the Couasnon river, and its small tributaries cut out small natural islands and favor a biodiversity all the more exceptional because for more than 20 years, this property has received no chemical treatment and the flora and fauna there are protected.

A little over twenty years ago, three women acquired this property to save animals, and to protect nature and heritage.  Throughout these years, they kept company with nature so that it could take hold again, without any input other than their energy, and welcomed up to about a hundred animals. 

They are the Ambassadors of the Regional Natural Park of Loire-Anjou-Touraine and the Mill has received the national designation ”Natural Park Values,” which emphasizes collective and consolidated actions, guaranteeing structural effects in favor of long-term development.

They were searching to convey this mill to a project compatible with their values and that would shelter the mill from real estate speculation, while still being able to live there near their donkeys, cats, and their hen Rosalie, knowing that if one day they were no longer able to live on their own, their animals would be perfectly safe. Meeting Anne-Lorraine Vigouroux was natural and even a bit magical !

These three friends will therefore live in the bakery and pig sties which have been laid out to allow them to stay near their animals and to allow The Other Farm to take advantage of their immense knowledge of the mill and its surroundings. It is an enormous bit of luck for the successful implantation of The Other Farm in Anjou province.