Mills in Altoaragón - harinero


Bernués is a village situated in the Jacetania region south of Jaca. From Jaca take the A-1205 to Santa María de la Peña. The road is narrow and winding and it will take you nearly an hour for the 28 km to Bernués. After a sharp turn to the right the village will turn up in the distance and a bit further on You will find Jacetania and San Juan de la Peña sign­posted. At the same spot at the other side of the road a track leads down to the Ermita de San Alejandro and to the mill. Drop your vehicle and walk the trail. The mill is on the Barranco del Río Moro.

Pictures: 03.i.2013

(1) The mill (right) almost invisible in the landscape.

At the site two constructions can be seen (1): the mill and a building which probably provided shelter for some animals. This shed is roofed with corruga­ted plates and between its walls a few parts of the mill are stowed away: e.g. the crane and some rods.
The aerial view (8) shows that the mill proper (2) was a huge building and still more or less intact in the 1980s. Nowadays it is a mere skeleton: the roof came down and the debris makes it impossible to enter and look for anything recognizable.

(2) Front wall; the water inlet is barely visible in the left wall near the corner.

(3) The façade
(4) Main entrance

The front wall features a window at the top and two more (one is blind) on the second floor where the miller had his quarters. We could not find any win­dow on the ground level.

The lintel (7) of the window (5) in the center of the façade (3) features some engravings which are difficult to decipher. The lettering is unclear and it looks like there are two layers or that some of the characters were redone. My best guess is:

S ANO DE 179?
The door is rather wide and bordered with huge stones. Centered above the lintel is an enamel stone with a Roman number one, presumably the house number. On the lintel a rectangle is engraved with the text ANO 179?. Bad luck that on both, the window's and the door's lintel, the last character is unclear. It may be a number 1. The left door jambe features a protective sign of the cross in its upper third part.

On the door itself a metallic plate (6) is attached. The plate is rusty but we can still read that it is from the insurance company Hermes.

(5) Window on 2nd floor
(6) Insurance tag at entrance
Asegurado en "HERMES"
compañia anonima
Española de Seguros

(7) Inscription on lintel of (5)

(8) Aerial photograph of 1980 — ©
(9) The pond

The mill pond can still be recognized. It is a flat area free from shrub (9). The pond is clearly visible in the aerial view of 1980 as an inverted triangle just above the yellow dot (8). It is not clear how the water was brought from the narrow end of the pond to the mill. Only the point where it entered the mill can be seen as an arch (11) in the wall facing East and near the corner with the façacde (2).
The path to the Ermita de San Alejandro runs on and parallel to the former canal. I couldn't find any hard evidence of a dam. However, at some point there is a small waterfall (10) in the Bco. del Río Moro. At the same spot there is some brickwork which could very well be the start of the canal.

(10) Dam with start of canal
(11) Entry point of water into the mill

Other remains of waterworks can be found (12) but their purpose is unclear. They are located in the rivulet at the height of the mill and can therefore not have been of any use for the mill proper.

(12) Waterworks with unclear purpose located next to the mill.

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