The restoration of Molino la Ratonera


When Kath and Andy bought the mill in September 2004 it was still being used by the local baker whose family had owned the site for generations. Milling had stopped some 15 years before when his father had stopped working but the huge wood fired bread oven was still being stoked with olive wood every night.

The condition of the buildings varied from "in need of extensive repair work" to barely visble. The building most in need of urgent help was the mill owner's house. This is a more recent structure, probably the turn of the century, but built on older foundations. Water leakage from the mill channel had eroded soil from under the basement level and left a void over 1 metre deep. The centre of the building was sinking and breaking away from the ends. Excavation prior to underpinning
The back of the building, facing the lower mill, was also in a dangerous state but could not be repaired until the site of the lower mill had been cleared and the building rebuilt. This was a complex and dangerous job but revealed the true size of the lower mill. The location of the old mill
Once the structure of the new building had been completed work could start on the renovation of the mill owner's house. Work on the mill owner's house
The old roof and beams were removed, the structure strengthened and a new set of beams and covering installed. All the old rendering was removed and the entire building re-rendered.
Work on the mill owner's house
The restoration of this fine old house is now completeThe finished lounge and it has been decorated in a traditional style to provide luxury accommodation for up to 8 guests.

The next phase was to rebuild the old stable block and kitchen buildings, Repair work on the mill tower repair the mill tower and replace the roof on the upper mill.
All the external work on the smaller buildings, the mill tower and the mill roof was completed The mill roof gets it's first new timbers in May 2007.

The final phase was started in Novmber 2007 and involved major structural work on the upper mill house mill and completion of the stable block and old kitchen. The whole site showing the new buildings still in render, the repaired tower and the roofless mill house
This was a massive project taking 6 months involving the installation of a new floor in half the building, refacing the walls and the construction of a large kitchen. This was completed by mid 2008 and the terrace in front of the mill has now been recobbled using stones recovered from the site.

Once the project was completed we had all 5 houses available. Click here to watch a brief slideshow of before and after.

The last job was to build a replica mill wheel. This is now done using elm from the site and reusing iron bands found during the restoration. The replica waterwheel

Watch the short video of the new mill wheel in action powered by water from the sixteenth century tower. Click here.

Accommodation

We have four properties available. There is a two person house, 2 four person apartments and the beautifully restored Cortijo which will comfortably sleep eight guests.

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The bar and terrace

The bar is located in the old mill room and still features much of the original milling equipment including the flour grinding stones. You can socialise with other guests enjoying the peace of La Ratonera with a drink in the bar or on the mill terrace. Imagine sitting under the stars on balmy summer evenings and enjoying one of our regular tasty barbecues.

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Facilities

We have the bar located in the mill room complete with old mill machinery, internet access and UK television. Above this is the restaurant serving evening meals from a range of traditional Spanish dishes. In the lower mill, dating from the 16th century, is the gym, library and tourism information centre while the favourite place for most guests in the long hot summer days is the large pool which uses an eco friendly system to clean the water, reducing the chemicals required and making the water silky smooth.

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Walking and other activities

Molino la Ratonera is an ideal walking centre as it is located on a network of tracks. We offer a range of self-guided walks to enable your group to explore at its own pace. We provide detailed instructions with distance, duration, historical information and maps to enable you to enjoy this beautiful environment. Click on short walks and long walks to download our guides. We have a number of mountain bikes together with helmets for guests to use free of charge and have put together a selection of rides. Click on cycle routes to download the guide.

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Location

Although offically part of the municipality of Algarinejo, the nearest village, 2.5 kilometres away, is Zagra with shops, banks, bars, restaurants, swimming pool and castle. Both Zagra and Algarinejo embody the charm of Spain as it has been for decades where friendly, easygoing people welcome you into their lives.

The area is known as El Poniente Granadino (the west of Granada) and is rich in evidence of Andalucia's Moorish past with castles and watchtowers (atalayas) ever present on the horizon.

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