The forgotten Hamlet and Moulin(s) of Poussarou sits isolated by the barriers of the D152 that runs close by the cliff stopping cars disappearing over the edge, however its still possible to climb through those gaps in the barriers and marvel at a place completely lost in history, It is believed that only goats and sheep were raised here as its terrain makes it unsuitable for agriculture, its paths are now very narrow and covered in tiny flakes of slate making it somewhat slippery, i am amazed at how the big house (as i like to call the large building we first see) stands so tall, i notice parts of old slate roofs giving an indication that although abandoned it has not been that way for long but long enough for it to be mostly destroyed.
The Hamlet and Moulin around 1900
Its local village located not far away in the middle of the 19th century housed nearly 400 people but by the 1980’s just 35 people were still there, did everyone just leave causing the demise of nearby industry, or maybe changing methods of milling made everyone leave to seek new employment and less people were needed to runs the mill, who knows. In making my way down passing through what could be old buildings, built onto solid rock foundations, i can not help but notice the arches inside that make me think its was more industrial than domestic, suddenly seeing a broken hand barrier, do not hold the barrier, it not attached to much and certainly would not stop you falling down the steep path down to the river but suddenly i am there, staring at the beautifully clear water.
The site in 1971, Source – Remonterletemps
The site during modern times, Source Geoportail
I can see a building located on the river and made my way there, there is no easy way there, its heavily overgrown, but i march my way through and find the moulin itself, the buildings are holding on (just) still visible are its roof joists, with small traces of its old slate roof, finally i am at the building base and can where the water passed through the mill and what must be the millers house or office with its beautifully cut coin stones and heavily barred windows. Remarkably they are even traces of floor joists and old window frames, i decide its time to make my way back up the steep slippery slope, the trek back up is much easier, i make my way back to the big house, i notice it has been updated at some stage with terracotta blocks so must of been in use fairly recently as there is even render still on the walls. But viewing its interior is impossible due to the overgrowth of brambles, it must of been very impressive back in the day.
Le Matin, August 1930
Further research tells us that there is actually 4 moulins originally located here, and the site has been used since before 1573, the site still had roofs in the 1940’s but by the 1970’s the site was already in decline, even the spot where we parked used to originally be a house (and can be seen on old postcards and on old maps, it disappears from old photos believed demolished around the year 2000) but now only a few tiny pieces fragments of wall of that building now survive, In July 30th, 1930, In the cave just above the houses before the bridge of Poussarou, a human skeleton was found by his side was a revolver and an electric lamp. according to the newspaper Le Matin, dated the first of August, it is assumed that it is remains of the famous Spanish bandit Téjédor who was rampant in the region at that time, but it is said that he died and was buried 5 years later in 1935 at the prison of Saint-Laurent du Maroni located in South America.