Mills in Altoaragón - harinero


Formigales is a small village in the La Fueva region. From L'Ainsa take the road to Campo and after 13 km turn right to Tierrantona. Keep on the main road until you find Formigales, Troncedo and Graus signposted to the left. Past the village of Formigales there is a sharp turn to the left; here a track goes down into the valley of the Barranco de Formigales — the mill of Solanilla is higher up on the same rivulet. Walk the track down —you will soon pass the dilapidated shack indicating the path to the oil mill— until you find the mill at your left side.

Pictures: 29.II.2012

(1) The complex of miller's home (r), mill (m) and sheds (l).

(2) Dintel at the back of the house features: 1763.
The mill proper is only a small part of the construc­tion which contains also a huge house and a long line of sheds. The workplace of the mill has its entrance separate from the rest. The arch (3) gives access to a porch where a wooden door opens into the mill. The door was closed and secured, so we couldn't enter, but there was a small hole through which we managed to take a picture (5) of the situation at the other side.

The installation looks complete and in good shape. Though there are two carcavos (4) there is only one platform with stones (5).

(3) Entrance to the mill
(4) Two cárcavos

(5) Interior of the mill proper

(6) Right cárcavo still houses a complete installation.

There are two carcavos (4) and they drain in a gutter which runs along the wall to the left and then disappears under the steps (3) of the entrance. We do not know where the water is given back to the river.
The cárcavo left (4) is free of mill related stuff and is used to store firewood. The other cárcavo (6) con­tains the complete apparatus with sole tree (puente), lightening tree (8, aliviador), wheel with wooden spoons (9) and the botana (7).

(7) Botana (end of the penstock)
(8) Sole tree with lightening rod

(9) Wheel with wooden blades
(10) Grain cleaner found in a shed

Behind the mill is a huge and deep pond nowa­days full of trees. The water supply channel can be traced back to its origin less than 200 m upstream. Some stretches are degraded due to lack of main­tenance and also because material rained down from the road higher up the slope.
In my opinion, this site is just the perfect candidate for a project where the mill is cleaned up and the installations made ready for visits by the public, just like some enthusiasts did in Troncedo.

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