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The complex of buildings known as 'Les Mousseaux' comprises an old watermill on the River Lathan and its outbuildings and dependances.  The mill is recorded in the Cassini Map of 1765 (the first topographical map of France) and there is evidence it was there far earlier.  The census shows it operating as a mill until the turn of the last century.

The millstream was removed on the construction of the dam on the Lathan in 1978 which created the Lac des Mousseaux/Lac de Rillé.  At the same time the course of the river was moved some fifty metres to the south and the old course of the river became the large pond near the house.

'Les Mousseaux' is on the spring line and benefits from a number of wells and springs around the property.  The soil is heavy clay which is very fertile but moves on to sandy loam as you ascend the valley.  Wildlife abounds with hundreds of frogs, toads, slow-worms and grass snakes, as well as the ubiquitous lizards.  Rare butterflies breed here such as swallowtails, emperor moths, and a number of others no longer seen in the UK.  Other insects of interest include praying mantis, stag beetles, and a variety of unusual spiders.  A variety of wild orchids grow in the spring.

In the conservatory you will find edible passion fruit and guavas growing and this tree frog was found in August 2007.

'Les Mousseaux' was bought in 2001 by its current owners, Adrian and Sally Scott-White.  At the time it was little more than a ruin. 

Adrian worked as a teacher of English and Sally was employed as the biological recorder for Wiltshire Wildlife Trust, but in 2003 they both took early retirement and moved permanently to France. Over the past years they have restored both the main building and the old haybarn, stables which comprise 'La Moussette'.

The next project is to restore the adjacent cottage set in a field of poplars which they acquired in 2006.

 

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