Mills in Alto Aragón - harinero, powerstation

Charo / Fosado

Charo's mill is situated exactly halfway between Fosado and Charo along the Río Lanata. In former times there was a path from Charo over El Pocino leading down to the mill (Camino del Pocino al molino). Nowadays the mill is easily reached from the main road between L'Ainsa and Campo. Coming from L'Ainsa and after 12 km park your car at the branch were Fosado is signposted. The mill is just a few steps away next to the Río de la Nata.

The mill is private property. Do not tresspass without permission.

Pictures: 21.xii.1998, 01.i.2011, 02.iii.2012, 22.viii.2017, 29.v.2023

(1) Molino de Fosado with Río Nata — 2012
The mill of Fosado is a rather big construction. We distinguish from left to right in (1) a reception space (2), the grain mill with living quarters for the miller on the upper floor (4), and the power station (13).

Between both main parts there is a a narrow and slightly lower section which connects both, and also contains an oven. There was also a space where pack animals could rest: its roof is just visible above the roof of the reception area on the left in (1).

The reception area (2) has a wide and rather low wooden door which is flanked by a mill stone cut in halves (2, 19). From here a narrow staircase (3) is giving access tot the living quarters upstairs. At the right side of the space we find a couple of steps leading to the workfloor of the mill (5) which is a little higher up.
(2) The reception area — 2011

(3) Steps leading to the living quarters — 1998
(4) The mill with the miller's home upstairs — 1998

(5) The workplace of the mill at the ground floor — 1998
The workplace (5) was a complete disaster. The equipment was buried under the remains of the roof and upper floor that had succumbed to the weight of the years. Fortunately, we were still able to recognize a few elements.
A hurst frame from wood (5) supported two pairs of stones, each with a cylindrical stone case (6). On the floor parts of the feeding system could be found: a wooden pyramidal funnel (tolva, 5 right) and also the cross bar of the silent feeder system (7) carrying a small funnel so shallow that it almost looks like a disk.

(6) Hurst frame with stone case — 1998
(7) Part of the feeding system — 1998

(8) Cárcavo of the grain mill — 1998
The cárcavo (8) is very deep and spacious. The deepest part is widest and houses two wheels next to each other. The two botanas (nozzles) are in the middle of the back wall and the wheels therefore turn in opposite directions.

The outlet of the cárcavo is narrower (foreground in 8) than the section with the wheels, and also not centered, but moved to one side. Contrary to the rest of the construction, the cárcavo is still in good shape with a solid roof which is built from fine masonry close to the mouth.

The blades are from wood and more or less spoon shaped and fixed in a metallic flange which is mounted on an axle of the same material. On the circumference two tension rings are mounted for extra strength (9, 10).

The blades are each reinforced with a metal plate that is bolted to the wood (11).

(9) — 1998
(10) — 1998

(11) Wooden blades with metal sheet — 1998
If you look carefully at pict. 1 you'll notice that both main functional sections, grain mill (4) and power station (13) do not lean directly against each other. There is kind of a connecting tower (13 left) which makes it possible to walk from the living quarters in the grain mill to the space where the generators were. Doing this the miller would first walk past a (bread?) oven (horno de pan) and then descend a steep stair case (12) into the power station.

The generator room could also be reached directly from outside via the opening which is visible in (13) left above the mouth of the cárcavo which drains the turbine.

(12) — 2011
(13) — 2012

Because of the abundant vegetation and the general state of decay, we couldn't possible enter via one of the normal access points (front door or stairs inside). We managed to get inside crawling our way through the drain of the turbine.
The space is empty: the installations are entirely dismantled and all equipment removed. This mill was equipped with a turbine: the tubes and some supports are telling (14, 15).

(14) — 1998
(15) — 1998

(16) — 2023
On the walls outside some old supports (16-18) some with, and others without, insulators can still be found. The white tower that rises above the roof (13) used to be the point from which the entire power grid was fed.

Maps of the Instituto Geográfico Nacional (series MTN50, sheet 212) reveal a wide network covering much of the zone surrounding the mill.

(17) — 2011
(18) — 2011

More about the history of this mill and its production of flour and electricity can be read in the extensive article written by Manuel López Dueso ().


Manuel López Dueso — 2014 — El molino de Charo. —
Revista del Centro de Estudios de Sobrarbe (ISSN: 1136-4173) N° 14; pp 101-154.
Read more about the silent feeder in:
L. Vanhercke & A. Anselin — 2023 — El alimentador silencioso. —
El Gurrión (ISSN: 1130-4960) N° 173, pp. 22-26.

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