Sentiers du Patrimoine ®


Les moulins de Chars

Informations directionnelles

Continuer la rue Dory jusqu’au croisement avec la rue de la Groue. Prendre à droite jusqu’au panneau sur les maisons bourgeoises.

Prochain point : Maisons bourgeoises

Prochain point : lat="49.15866" lon="1.93465"

One working mill remains



The important role of mills…

Chars had three flour mills in the 13th century: the Fossart mill (also known as the Chars mill), the Noisement mill and the Clochard mill. Grains, and especially bread, were the mainstay of people’s diet at the time, so you can see the importance of having mills close at hand. Leap forward to the 20th century and the many changes in agricultural practices and what and how we eat. Needless to say, many of the small mills became obsolete.
But the region’s mills were always carefully managed, mindful that they are powered by natural forces (floods, frost, drought, etc.) that affect the velocity and volume of water. Since the mills were ranged along the same river, rights to the water were governed by regulations and each individual miller had to make sure they had sufficient water to generate enough power. Unfortunately, disputes made the water resource complex to manage.
At the edge of Neuilly-en-Vexin, the place named “Moulin à vent” (windmill) suggests that this was the site of a windmill. If so, it must have been a valuable alternative to water-driven mills when there wasn’t enough force in the water to drive the blades.



…The “moulins de chars”

In the second half of the 19th century, the most prosperous mills moved into the modern age, embracing steam as a source of power and bringing in cylinders to replace grind wheels. With progress came a leap in productivity – and stiff competition between mills. Squeezed out, the smaller flour mills were repurposed as factories.
Sitting in the centre of the village, the Moulins de Chars has made innovation its byword. The “Moulins de Chars” mark first appeared in 1903 when the mill was taken over by the Maurey family. Thomas Maurey has been at the helm since 2018 and is the fourth generation of the family to run the business. The mills produce a broad range of flours and ready-to-use mixes.

by Expression Nomade