13th CENTURY STONE WINDMILL
'POINTED ROOF MILL'
Welcome to La Couscouillette
Please go to my http://www.la-couscouillette.com for up to date info including Guestbook.
Mentioned in Times Online August 12, 2009 as one of 31 most unusual holiday homes in Europe
.........'Sit outside to watch the sunset as your nostrils fill with the aroma of mint and lavender'. ....
click here for Romantic Sloping Roof Mill
in a Languedoc Domain
Situated in a small village between Carcassonne and Narbonne, which predates Roman Times
sun soaked Mediterranean beaches at about half an hour's drive
Carcassonne Airport with Ryan Air flights to at 25 minutes drive from the mill. Direct flights to London Stansted, East Midlands, Liverpool, Bournemouth, Ireland, Scotland, Belgium and Germany. From end March 2010 Ryan Air adds Leeds to Carcassonne.
From Beziers (75 minutes drive) direct connection to Bristol and Luton with Ryan Air.
Ryan Air flights to Barcelona (actually Gerona at 2 hours drive) and Marseille (3 hours drive), to many destination all over UK and Europe.
large solar panel heated POOL 9.50m by 4m
up to air temperature!
dolphin pool, mills just visible behind trees
The pool is a fantastic experience with its warm water! Thanks to solar panel heating. Luxurious tiled pool with underwater lighting, private for the mills. Available from April till October. Saline electrolysis system instead of chlorine tablets! More comfortable for skin and eyes. Large terrace for magic evenings dining and sipping drinks by the pool.
downstairs in the Pointed Roof Mill
First Floor Pointed Mill
luxurious, very comfortable double bed/settee
Top Floor Pointed Mill
Superb for Family Holidays
Home made and very Bumpy Private Grass Tennis Court
Tree House for Kids
Baby Paddling Poolthe grounds
underwater lighting for ultra luxurious evening enjoyment
Home made and very Bumpy private grass tennis court, just for the Couscouillette, bring your own or borrow our tennis rackets.On the tennis court; 2 football goals and basket ball for juniors!
Children love the little red car, bike, the paddling pool, Woody hut, tennis, football, basket ball and the swing. It is small, but feels roomy and has an incredible ambiance.
The mill has been beautifully restored in open-plan style.English satellite tv, dvd. Kitchen well appointed with brand new luxurious cooker with an electric spit in the oven and dishwasher. Washing machine, microwave etc. Bathroom and w.c. luxuriously tiled, with shower.
The mill sleeps 4. The mill is one of two 13th century windmills standing side by side, this description applies to the pointed- roof mill. The other mill has now also been restored and is called the 'Sloping Roof Mill'.
The thick walls are made of natural stone. It has an inner diameter of 4 m, but feels more roomy, due to the open plan style, the only doors are on the bathroom area.
There are 3 levels. Two levels are for sleeping.We provide sheets, towels etc €15 per person per stay (however long).As well as pillows and duvets. On the top level, under the eaves, you have a lovely plastered ceiling and visible beams. Here are 2 one person beds. There are no doors on the various areas except for the bathroom, the mill is completely open-plan. So there are sleeping 'areas' on the various floors, rather than individual bedrooms.
The sofa bed is on the first level (up one flight of stairs). In fact, this floor could also be used as a charming extra sitting room.
You have your own personal terrace, as well as various other dining places in the gardens. Garden furniture is provided.
your private terrace
Great For Kids, Push Car, Swing, Paddling Pool, Woody Hut (with William looking out)
Home made and very Bumpy private (grass) tennis court
(not Wimbledon of course)
The windmills date from the Cathar period (1266) and are probably the first windmills in the South of France.* The historic interest of this property is well documented in an ancient book in which an entire chapter is dedicated to La Couscouillette. The period is important in the history of France.
The two mills, and maybe part of the house were built in the 13th cent. by Simon de Melun, one of the Northern conquerors of the South of France. He had them built so the villagers would no longer have to grind their corn and maize manually and individually. The windmills were new to France then, only watermills were well known.
It is said that Simon de Melun, well known in the history of France, brought the knowledge of the East concerning windmills (Crusades) to the S. of France. He purchased a piece of land called 'La Couscouilede' (the name of the hill) to build the mills on.
aerial photo of La Couscouillette
In the 14th cent. the windmills were destroyed, probably by the 'Black Prince' who had also burned down the town of Beziers, killing 20.000 people.
In the 16th cent. the Comte de Malacoste acquired 'rights on the wind' from the French king. He restored the two mills and became rich due to his monopoly position on the grinding of corn. After that he was given his title by the king. In those days farmers lived mainly from growing corn, not grapes.
Over the centuries the house was constantly changed and extended. Millers lived here up to the beginning of the 20th century. Around 1930 grinding the corn was no longer economically interesting. A shepherd moved into the house and mills with 300 sheep. He left around 1950 and the house stood empty, falling to ruin till we bought it in '77.
click to see how we renovated the mills
Situated on a hill, private, yet at the edge of a small village in Aude, in 10 acres of private terrain, with magnificent views in all directions.
view from the mill over the valley
Our two Camargue horses roam the beautiful 'garrigue' with wild lavender and thyme, olive trees and other Mediterranean vegetation. The ancient millers' house where we live, is right next to the mill.
some of the grounds in the domain
The 10 acres surrounding the house and mills include our own little vineyard where we grow the 'grenache noir' grapes and make our own wine the old fashioned, artisinal way. It is actually greatly appreciated by our professional viticulteur friends in the village. Only just enough for ourselves unfortunately!
nearby river at ribaute
As we have dogs, cats, chickens, horses, and parrots, though we adore animals you will not be able to bring yours. Our tiny dogs, Fifi and little William, both Coton de Tulears will welcome you to our grounds.
Extremely peaceful unpolluted setting unspoilt by tourism, with a timeless French countryside ambiance. Just perfect for vacation rentals.Beautiful countryside all around the house, with marked hiking routes. The region is rich in historical sites and gastronomic opportunities. Mediterranean climate with around 10 hours of sun per day in July. The area can be windy, but the 1000 trees we planted decades ago give great protection. The medieval walled city of Carcassonne is reached in 25 minutes, Narbonne is half an hour away. Spain and the Pyrenees in just over an hour. Drive through beautiful countryside to the Dinosaur museum at Esperaza. It's at an hour's drive from here and it will take you back 70 million years.
The small wine producing village has a essential shops, a small supermarket, bakery, pharmacy, butcher and post office. The village organises walks, excursions and village open air dances during the summer. Horses can be rented locally for riding. Ours are not suitable for riding; they have trained us expertly to just produce their breakfast, their dinner, their shelter, their freedom and never do a day's work! The village is in-between Carcassonne and Narbonne. The Mediterranean beaches are reached in 35 minutes. At Gruissan, near Narbonne, you can windsurf in the salty Lake of Mateille, an 'etang.
CLICK FOR LA COUSCOUILLETTE STORIES (all about us and our animals)
Nearest international airport: Carcassonne Airport at 25 kilometres Ryan Air flights direct to London (Stansted), Bournemouth, East Midlands, Liverpool, Brussels (Charleroi) Also flights from Bristol to Cap d'Agde, called 'Beziers' by Ryan Air at 60 km and many flights to Gerona, called 'Barcelona' by Ryan Air at 200 km
Nearest beach: 35 kilometres
Nearest railway station: Carcassonne at 25 kilometres
Nearest motorway junction: Carcassonne at 20 kilometres
where we live and who we are
by Pierre Cabirol, curé 1926
history of the village of Montlaur
allan & margaret's pool
13-09 2014 ...The time here was very beautiful; you've got an amazing place here and thank you so much for sharing it not only with the guests coming here, but also with all you wonderful animals.We wish you and your animals the best health and thank you for your hospitality, gifts and care, Raphaela, Helmut, Susanne.
04-06 2014 ....We spent a wonderful week in the Pointed Roof Mill. We had fun in and at the nice pool, enjoyed your gifts (eggs and wine and 'auberinge') and marveled at the castles around. We wish you luck and health and hope you see us again! Michaela & Michael :-) in Germany
9-08 2014 ...the time spent in your mill was very relaxing, we enjoyed the pool and the garden and had a great time passing too fast. Thank you for your hospitality! Best wishes Andrea, Thomas, Frederik, Felicia (from the Stuttgart area, Germany)
August 23 2014 Thank you for giving us so many happy memories. Thank you for everything you have done (letting us feed the animals), Joe. Thank you for the pool it was really fun. Scott. Gary + Lisa
August 2014.....We had a great time. We enjoyed the pool and the cosy mill. Thanks for your hospitality! .....Brigitta, Edgar, Larissa and Robbert
Thank you so much for all the great site seeing and activity suggestions. We had a fun time investigating the surrounding area! Fifi and William were great too, always sneaking up on us when we were eating! ...Larissa
10th August 2014 ....zweiten mahl wieder in 'unseren Muhlchen'. Es war wieder eine wunderschone Woche bei euch. ....Miriam, Bruno, Ande und Rosalie.
2nd August 2014 August 2014 Liebe Margaret, lieber Allan, vielen lieben Dank fur 2 wunderschone Wochen in Eurer Muhle. Wir haben uns sehr, sehr wohl gefuhlt. Das futtern has uns viel spasz gemacht. .... Wen wir durfen kommen wier gerne wieder. Liebe grusze von Leonie (7), Muriel (5), Daniel, Susanne & Anniek (3).
5th July 2014 Thank you Allan and Margaret for a great week. You saved an important part of the local heritage all those years ago and now many can enjoy the pleasure of staying here. So much to see in the area and then there is the lovely swimming pool to come back to!! Graig
We've loved staying in your mill, with its little hat.And enjoyed all the animals - even the cat! We've climbed to Cathar Castles, perched near the sky. The 'Montsegur' in a thunderstorm... The Medieval villages are a joy and a delight . Hugging hills and valleys-such a pretty sight. ... Huge thanks, Pam...Scotland
21st June 2014 Thank you for a beautiful holiday. We enjoyed to live in the mill, the pool, the fantastic view. Luca enjoyed to feed all animals every day with Allan ...Manuela, Stefan and LUCA!!!
31st May 2014 ...thank you so much for you hospitality, which went far beyond our expectations! ...We loved the surroundings - the garrigue in particular was astonishing with all its amazing flowers and herbs. Thanks again.... Inge, Tomas
October 2013 We would like to thank you for the wonderful 10 days in the Pointed Roof Mill. We went to visit a lot of the castles and abbeys around Carcassonne. We liked the evenings in the mill and we enjoyed cooking our meals in the mill. Peter got best friends with Sugar, Cookie, William and Fifi! One day we might return to the Pointed roof Mill. All the best for the future, Ruth + Peter, Switzerland
September 2013...wir durften hier bei euch eine wunderschone Woche verleben die leider viel zu schnell voruber gegangen ist......in der Hoffning auf ein Wiedersehen! Miriam, Bruno, Rosalie, Andre.
September 2013 Liebe Margaret, Lieber Allan, hier bei euch hat es uns sehr gefallen. Die Muhlen haben uns sehr gefallen. Es hat uns viel Spasz gemacht die Tiere zu futteren und Tempy zu putzen. Die Eier der Huhner waren sehr lecker. Und das Gemuse auch. Eure: Ella (6), Lina (10), Marco (9), Tom (3 1/2), Helen, Jurgen, Sabine, Udo.
August 22 2013 Dear Margaret and Allan, We've enjoyed your lovely mill, the pool, the great view and the fantastic weather. Thanks a lot for the nice conversation and the good informations. :-) As our breakfast we could enjoy your tasty eggs! In addition we really liked the beans and the herbs from your garden. Grosse bisous, Birgit, Pitt, Katja, Maike, from Germany
August 2013 Dear Margaret & Allan, Thank you so much for a fantastic week! Kara & Ella adored William & Fifi and the fact that they could roam your property so freely. Thanks especially to Allan, who almost felt like a surrogate grandfather, the girls loved feeding Temps & the chickens!
You have a beautiful property, thank you for sharing it with us!
Thank you very much! Gerbrand, Helana, Kara & Ella
July-August 2013 Passed two wonderful weeks in the Pointed Roof Mill, discovered les Corbieres, the castles and monasteries (and bakeries!) until our children told us they would now know everything about the Middles Ages! We went swimming in the Mediterranean. We enjoyed the wonderful and beautiful pool and Carla loved to feed Temps and to caress the dogs. Thank you very much , Gianna, Carla, Katrin, Francesca & Lukas from Switzerland.
June 2013 To Margaret and Allan. We can't believe it's been ten years since our last visit! Just like last time we have thoroughly enjoyed our two weeks here. We have loved the warm sunny days by the pool! We love this part of the world with its beautiful scenery! And delicious food. Thank you to Allan for the lovely eggs, we just don't get eggs like that back home! Fifi and William came to visit us every day which we loved! Fifi hasn't changed! We enjoyed feeding Temps, he is very friendly and loves carrots the best! (spat out some of the bread we gave him!) We will surely miss this place once we are back home! Thank you ever so much for having us again! Hopefully we will be back sooner next time! Lowve from Rory, Shirley & Kitty-(I will miss Fifi!!! and William's visits!) Rory, Shirley & Kitty (Prestwick, Scotland)
May 2013 Thank you for 2 wonderful holiday weeks here in Sud Frankreich. It was a great adventure for us to live in a mill. Sometimes we felt like a family in the 12th century. Your animals are lovely and we had a lot of fun with them. We are sad to go home in 3 days .... Alles liebe, vielen herzlichen dank, Merci, thank you, au revour, see you, Maria, Michael Marlene, Marcel PS We will love to recommend the mill to our friends.
April 27 2013 Dear Margaret & Allan, We enjoyed the wonderful Pointed Roof Mill, the great garden,
the company of Fifi & Tempi, William & Tempi & the chickens.Thank you so much for your hospitality, you were so nice with Piet, who was a proud owner of your lettle red car! Best wishes and take care from Caroline, Lars & Piet (from Hamburg)