From its 19 meters, the windmill of Epinay is probably one of the few mills towers to have followed all the technical developments of his time :

Its orientation pinwheel or “butterfly”..

This very rare in France English invention was installed on the mill in 1928. It allows the auto wind wings. With a diameter of 3 meters and 6 blades, this “small wheel”, on the roof can rotate it in the wind when it changes direction.

His wings “Berton” wood.

When built in 1822, the mill of Epinay (much smaller than today) had a canvas canopy system. The miller as a sailor on his yacht was each time he was operating his mill, first deploy the sails climbing on the wings !! It was a task that requires a lot of effort, time and risk taking.

It was after the French Revolution that we shall so certify to poor productivity of French mills. A former blacksmith Pierre Berton Theophilus, called to work on the mills, develops an adjustable flotation wing system. These wings are made of Oregon pine boards. These boards are adjustable from inside the mill through a system of rods. Berton filed a patent in 1841 and moved to Anjou in 1852. Miller could now, from inside his mill, increase or decrease the surface of its wing, in the wind, just using strings. In 1860, the miller of Epinay wanting to improve its production capacity, then raising his mill with two floors and made Berton install this system for better wind resistance.

Its excellent meal wheels.

Today only one pair of wheels is operating in Epinay mill to crush buckwheat (or black wheat) and wheat (or wheat). So our visitors can buy in our store of the authentic meal wheels. We also provide recipes for bread, pancakes, burgers and pizza dough. The baker in our village also makes some products with our meal.

The Epinay Windmill history

1822 Construction of the windmill.
Vers 1860 Installation of the « Berton » system. Wings opening and closing system.
1925 Installation of a diesel engine.
1928 Installation of the butterfly (orientation system).
1936 Remplacement of the diesel engine by an electric engine.
1947 Wings are not turning anymore.
1970 The last miller Elie Châtaigner retires. The windmill stops its activity during 15 years.
1985 The town of La Chapelle Saint Florent buys the windmill in ordrer to restor it.
1987 Roofing and wings restoration.
1989 Restoration of the inside mecanisms.
19/09/1989 Inauguration and opening to public visits.
1993 Restoration of associated arears (museum, restaurant, etc).
1998 Animations for schools.
2009 Opening of a new museum area.
2013 Renovation of the first museum area.