Mills in Alto Aragón — harinero

Los Molinos

Los Molinos is probably most easily reached from L'Ainsa. Take the main road to Campo and in Arro turn left where both Los Molinos and the Monasterio de San Victorián are sign­posted. Take care because it's a narrow road with many bends. When you reach the first houses of the village, look out for the information panel at the start of the path leading to the mill which is only a short walk away.

Pictures: 2.XI.2011, 13.IV.2014

(1) The mill of Casa Ferrero after the restoration — 2014.

(2) Embalse leans high against the back wall.
When we first visited this mill in 2011 we found it in a really sorry state. The construction was over­grown with Ivy and Old man's beard (8), the inners were empty (4) and the stones were hidden below debris from the roof (3).

We located two stone couples of different sizes. The smallest pieces lying closest to the entrance (3, 6, 7) measure ∅ 110 cm and have a sickle dress. The iron band in (3) betrays the position of the second couple of millstones which are sligthly lar­ger with ∅ 130 cm. I couldn't make out the kind of dressing, but considering the size of the stones, I would expect a more modern harp dressing.

(3) Stones burried under debris — 2011.
(4) View from the lower wide door — 2011.

Our second visit in 2014 was a pleasant surprise. The mill was saved from oblivion. Much work was done in order to preserve the building and the sur­viving artefacts and to bring back memories of the mill in former times.
About two thirds of the building (1, left side) is taken by the workplace (5, 6) which is one single space from floor to roof. The remaining part (1, behind the wide door) is divided in a ground floor and an upper floor each having its own entrance.

(5) Evocation of the former workfloor — 2014
(6) Bolting machine = cernidor

The main exhibitions are a milling unit (7) and a bolting machine (6). The configuration is rather weird with the stone casing immediately on the floor. But everything is there and ready to run for demon­stration purposes: notice the controls to manage the valve and the aliviador. This type of feeder system with a swivelling hopper and a feed-shoe (canalete) is a rarity in the wide region. I've only seen the type in Lacabezonada — a real gem, not very far away and also at the foot of the Sierra Ferrera — and a related type with the hopper fixed to a wall in Ainielle (Sobrepuerto). There is no crane and I couldn't spot a point suitable to tie on a rope either. So probably no plans exist for a dressing party any time soon.
The second piece proudly displayed is a bolting machine (cernidor, 6) in a rather good condition and complete apart from the feeding-mechanism. The long side features two large doors which means that the meal was bolted into two fractions. The rest­fraction (salvado) appeared through a smaller door at the back (7).

We've seen a similar type in Javierre de Olsón, but making three fractions instead of two. Three frac­tions plus salvado also in the mill of Castigaleu but there the flour comes out at the bottom through holes closed by sliding valves. The feeder is still in place.

(7) Two sets of stones, one set furnished with case, feeding system and controls.

(8) The mill before the restoration — 2011.


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