Windmill Brûlat

Historic site and monument
Back list
Pets Parking Aire de pique-nique
Village 2 km away
Bus stop < 500 m
Close to a public transportation
View over the vineyards
Picnic area
Car park
Pets welcome

The moulin Brûlat (The mill of Brûlat) is located on the path of Villevieille, on the road which connected the old and the new location of Gassin. In the middle of garrigue, it hosts a picnic area with a magnificent sight on the gulf of Saint-Tropez.

The first known mills in Gassin were the work of the Romans: these were hand mills. Only archaeological discoveries inform us on this point.
In the centuries that followed, hydraulic mills were established, but in this region of Provence without significant rivers and where periods of drought are long, their yield was low and irregular.
The expansion of wind turbines in the Middle Ages was a revolution. Sites like this, cresting north-south, were used to make the most of the winds: the Mistral and the East wind. The Brûlât mill enabled the village community to grind wheat and obtain an essential element of life at that time: flour. Several other windmills were built: in Saint-Martin, in Bestagne and in Château Bertaud in particular.
The Brûlât mill is characteristic of the mills of Provence, with however a diameter slightly lower than the average (5.8 m). It still has its barrel, made of local stone masonry. The wall is about 1 meter thick at the base and 80 at the top. The partially collapsed interior vault is also made of stone. A staircase starts to the right of the front door; it allowed to reach the floor where the millstone was. The brick frames have disappeared, as have the exterior plasters.

The toponymy recalls the importance of the mills in the past: Moulin Brûlat, de Bestagne, de Verdagne, Patty, Aire du Moulin vieux, Le Moulin, Les Mollins, lo Molin Aurier, Lo Molin Rodier, le Mollin d'eau, Lo Molin dels Benes …
The village also housed blood mills, powered by animal power and used for olive oil.

At the beginning of the 19th century, the millstones used were manufactured far from the Gulf of Saint-Tropez and arrived via Marseille. There were then three windmills in operation at Gassin, owned by Mademoiselle Castelanne for one and by Messrs Garachon and Meyriès for the other two. The latter was also the owner of one of the town's three water mills located on the Bourrian. These water mills only operated for a few months a year when this river was heavily supplied by the rains.
In 1850, three mills operated under the direction of the three millers who owned Gassin, Messrs Bonnard, Héraud and Rimbaud, employing a total of 5 people.
The rise of industrial flour mills (two establishments with steam engines were created in Cogolin and La Môle and in the 20th century two others in Grimaud) sounded the death knell for the Gassin mills and, in the second half of the 19th century, they ceased to function.
The origin of the name Brûlat is not known: Brûlat is a family name attested in Provence, but not in the Gulf before the 20th century, in a very isolated way; the name could derive from the clearing of this land or from a fire that may have occurred there.


Free of charge.

Moulin Brûlat
Chemin de Villevieille
83580 Gassin

All year round, daily.