Continuing my story about Saturday afternoon in the Val de Saire, I also took the time to visit the 18th century Moulin de Marie Ravenel also called le Moulin de la Caudrairie in the village of Réthoville. The water mill is named after the poet Marie le Corps née Ravenel who lived here for 31 years. The mill was purchased by the community of St-Pierre-Eglise in 1999 and given a new lease on life with a complete restoration of the mill and all of its working components. It has two pairs of millstones which are in turn powered by a wheel fed by a mill race or “bief” behind the mill capable of holding over 500,000 litres of water. This weekend was supposed to be a special weekend for tourists who wished to see the mill in operation and a demonstration of how to make bread. Unfortunately, they were having some problems with the mill which meant that the bief was empty of water, the mill wheel was not turning and no one was making bread. Despite there not being any bread demonstration or an opportunity to see the functioning of the millstones, the 30 minute guided tour of the site proved to be quite educational. Our tour guide talked to us about the ancient craft of milling and the manufacturing process of flour. The wheel has a diameter of 3.20 meters and was remade in iroko, an African wood which is less susceptible to rot over time. Inside the mill is an exhibition of what a typical Norman home of the 18th century would have looked like. The roof has been perfectly restored and thatched with reeds just like the original roof from the 18th century and is expected to last at least 50 years. In 2010, the community constructed two new buildings on the site: a tutorial room to accommodate schools and a traditional bread oven. I was so pleased with my visit and I would definitely like to go back someday. More images can be found here. I took a short drive to Réthoville to see the church but it was closed. I was only able to get some photographs of the exterior. Situated on a small hill, l’église St-Martin de Réthoville is a granite building recognizable from afar by its square tower which used to be topped with a platform railing known as a balustrade. Unfortunately, in 1943, the German military used it as an observation post and fixed the railing inside a concrete framework which still exists today. On the outside one can see the remains of an archway which led to the north facing sacristy which was demolished during restorations in 1870.