The moulin de Cugarel is one of the 32 mills that were found in the town in the 17th century. Built in local stone, it is typical of Lauragais windmills, with its tapered shape.
Restored in 1962, it still has all the internal mechanism: large turning wheel, ironwork and the two millstone chambers. These millstones, cut from granite from Sidobre near Castres, performed one revolution per second.
At this rate, 3 bags an hour could be milled (50 kg bags for oats and wheat, 78 kg for corn). The miller orientated the blades from the roof, or ‘capelado ’, with a hook. Depending on the strength of the wind (Cers or Autan wind) the miller could place sails on the blades (7m). After releasing the brake, the grinding work could begin. The Cugarel mill operated until 1921.
The creation of the Canal du Midi by Pierre Paul Riquet saw significant growth in flour mills. Castelnaudary became the only large port between Toulouse and the sea which could export of all the cereal wealth of the Lauragais region.
Today the mill, with its panoramic view of the Montagne Noire, is open to visitors all summer, and on reservation outside the summer period.