Mills in Alto Aragón – harinero

Morillo de Liena

Morillo de Liena is a village at the junction of the main road between Graus and Valle de Benasque with the road coming from L'Ainsa and going to Campo. The mill is situated between the road (with heavy trafic) and the river Ésera and is probably best reached from the área deportiva in the river bed. Next to the bus stop there is a road which will bring you there. Better still to walk down the path which starts at the picnic table (1) a few meters north of the bus stop.

Pictures: 14.vii.2021

The canal before the roadworks (9), ran from the bridge (top right) through agricultural lands towards the mill (white circle) and was about 900 m long. The situation changed dramatically when a large traffic interchange was built in the early 2000s (10). Only the section of the canal nearest to the mill stayed unaffected : that is a stretch of about 350 m long situated between the mill and the white dot in (9).
Further on the canal had to be diverted and a con­crete gutter was installed above ground to carry the water around the intersection. The start of the diver­sion is visible in (10) as a white line at the spot of the dot in (9). The new section the meanders below the new bridge (17) and then zigzags between the riverbank and the new road (10, 16) before going undergound (15).

(9) The situation around 2000
© SIGPAC flight 1997-2003
(10) The situation after the roadworks
© PNOA flight 2006

(11) The start of the canal; notice the rapids caused by the remains of the dam.

(12) The first few meters of the canal.

(13) Door making it possible to drain water back to the river.

(14) Drain, grate to block unwanted debris,
door to regulate the flow.
Though the canal is in very good shape, it is unlikely that it is of any use to the mill. Consider pictures 11 and 12 where only the first few meters are wet and the rest of the canal leading to the grate (13, 14) remains dry.

At the time when the pictures were taken, the water­level of the river Ésera was exceptionally high. During most of the year the levels are lower because of the dams higher up. It is only during the summer season and to cater for the rafting com­panies in Campo, that each day, for a couple of hours around midday, more water is released. This makes for a more adventurous descent of the river.

In my opinion the mill can hardly ever run. The river doesn't supply enough water. The abundant vege­tation at the end of the canal closest to the mill (21) seems to confirm this.

(15) The canal resurfaces as an open tube made of concrete.





(20) Last stretch is again wide and shallow.

(21) The canal arriving at the mill. The same position like in (5).

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