Guest house, professionnal kitchen and 300 years old mill for sale
                                      More informations via minoteriedenaurouze@gmail.com

"At the very heart of the Seuil de Naurouze, by the Rigole de la Plaine and 400m from the Canal du midi, we welcome you with 3 cosy bedrooms (10 to 12 places in all) and a "farm to table"restaurant in a period house situated on a XXVII century property historically connected with the Canal.
We welcome our guests in a natural environnement to experience tasty food and friendly atmosphere.

Crédit photos: M.Bintein
A summary of the others pages about our property history and our activities...

Planned since Antiquity but never finished, the Royal Canal of the Two seas, finally saw the day during the reign of Louis the XIVth, during a period of peace and financial stability.

The chief salt-tax collector for the region, Pierre-Paul Riquet spent the last 20 years of his life realising his genius vision for making a new commercial route between Toulouse and Sète. By connecting the Atlantic to the Mediterranean the ships could avoid the Iberian coastline with it’s taxes and numerous dangers.

Riquet showing the watershed to authorities. VNF archives, 19th engraving.

At it’s highest point (189m), situated at the watershed, near the legendary Stones of Naurouze which mark the entrance into Languedoc Roussillon , it was necessary to bring a source of constant water to feed into the two sides of the Canal. For this Riquet invented a system that overcame this problem by:

§ a channel along the flank of the Black Mountains to collect from it’s fast running streams.

§ a dam at St Férréol for stocking this water

§ a channel snaking through the plains of the Lauragais to bring the water to the watershed

§ a port serving as a final distribution point

Memorial plate at watershed

Just before the octagonal port, he made chutes for two water mills for wheat, which were rented out to tenant farmers. He built a house and garden for the chief engineer. This civil servant had responsibility to oversee this key section, as it was critical to the correct functioning of the whole of the Royal Canal. From the point that this section was put in place, it meant  the Royal canal could start to operate. The work started in 1667 and the Canal was inaugurated in 1681. Around 1715, Vauban made some modifications, which meant abandoning the port and re-utilising it as a tree nursery. 

This new waterway changed dramatically the economic development of the states of Languedoc. It bought with it possibilities of irrigation, changing the dry soils with burning winds, into a wheat basket for the region.

The ancient bassin in Naurouze

The biggest mills in Naurouze became industrialised around 1820 under the leadership of successive farmers. With the development of this activity, they invested in machinery to increase productivity, driven by the turbines. They progressively added lodgings for the foreman, a hanger for the carts, silos and made viable the walkway towards the Ocean lock. The enriched the Domaine with majestic trees and a french garden. In 1914, changes in the way the Canal was administered meant that the entire Domaine was bought by the miller Josep Marty and the business was run by father and son until 1986. The small mill disappeared in the process and then the whole activity was abandoned after the death of the last miller and also due to the profound changes to the wheat market and it’s globalisation.

The buildings were left  the estate agents and were pillaged during 11 years. In 1997 Andrew and Annie Spark became the owners after falling in love with for entire 2 600m2 estate, whilst undertaking a perilous risk even though it was listed  as an ‘Industrial Heritage site of the Aude’.

The property

Following being classified by UNESCO, the Canal and it’s channels and in answer to the needs of tourists - walker, cyclists, pilgrims, they created a café and shop, a “gite d’étape” and a B&B, which they ran for 12 years, welcoming numerous hosts to their “table d’hôtes” for dinner.

The guesthouse and restaurant

Since 2010, Annie have concentrated on creating short stays in the guesthouse and rehabilitating the old mill work spaces to host cultural events. She is also researching the history from the archives and restoring the heritage of the Domaine such as the gardens, the wells and the remains of the mills. And the hydroelectric capacity is currently being evaluated.

Cajun pub

The house entrance

In July 2015, Andrew opened a "farm to table"restaurant in the Mill house with a shaded terracee and so the creation and inventiveness stared by Pierre-Paul Riquet is continuing to live on!

The shaded terrace
The flying pig, our mascott

One of the rooms

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