Mills in Alto Aragón — molino harinero

Alcampell

Alcampell is a village in the Litera region. The mill —known as Molí de Baix de Falaguer ()— is situated downstream of the upper mill and receives its water from the same source. The terrain is difficult to negotiate because of the trees and the thorny shurbs and it may be necessary to make a detour in order to reach this lower mill.

Pictures: 09.VIII.2012

(1) The lower mill is almost entirely hidden between the trees;
only the top of the cubo can be seen from a distance.

Aerial photographs taken in the 1970s by the Insti­tuto Geográfico Nacional of Spain make it easier to appreciate the configuration of the site (2).

Notice that, in 1978, the roof of the lower mill (2 pt3) was already gone. The only earlier aerograph I could find, dates from 1956 and at that time both mills had their roof in place.

From the air one can more clearly appreciate how both mills relate to each other. The system is fed by the Acequia del Molino de Falague which enters the embalse (2 pt1) in its top right corner. From the pond water could reach the lower mill by two ways (2 pt6). First there is the spillway which drains water towards a canal at the foot of the hill. This canal received also the outflow of the upper mill and flew out into the pond (2 pt5, 4) of the mill at hand.

(2) Situation of both mills — aerial photo taken in March 1978, © IGN of Spain
1Pond of the upper mill
2Upper mill
3Lower mill already without roof
4Restitution channel
5Pond of the lower mill
6Supply channels for the lower mill
7Cubo of the upper mill

(3) Mill pond and cubo of the lower mill

The millpond is narrow and long and ends in the cubo (3-5) which is built from ashlar stone. This cubo is entirely different from the upper mill's which is a deep cilinder and therefore a real cubo like in the mills of f.e. Lacort, Centenera, or Las Bellostas. What we have here is a cilinder which is open towards the pond.
In some occasions (e.g. Aguinalíu) only the upper part of the cubo is open to the pond whilst the bot­tom half is a closed cilinder. If present, the closed bottom part must be hidden below the silt accumu­lated in the pond. However, looking at the the stones, I do not think there is enough depth left for such a closed cubo.

(4) Pond is long and narrow
(5) Cubo

(6) Mill with cubo behind
(7) Workfloor of the mill

The mill was built along the slope of the plateau (6, 7). There is enough left of the walls to appreciate the dimensions of the construction. The mill was long and narrow, too narrow to house more than one couple of stones.

Standing inside the mill and looking toward the pond (7) it becomes clear that the cubo is built on top of a big rock and that somehow this rock had to be perforated in order to bring water to the wheel.

The stones (7, 8) are composite. The metal straps came loose and the runner is so heavily eroded that the individual pieces of stone can be seen.

Next to the stones there is a cemented farinal (8). This is where the fresh meal was collected before it was bagged. In most mills of the region the farinal is made of wood (e.g. Humo de Muro, Las Almunias de Rodellar and more).

(8) Millstones with farinal


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