Mills in Altoaragón - aceitero


Arascués lies on the main road from Huesca to Sabiñánigo and Jaca at the foot of the Puerto de Monrepos. Arascués is part of Nueno nowadays. There have been major road works in the vicinity and the situation on the terrain has become a mess. It may be best to approach from the South via the Autovía Mudéjar and take exit 372 (Arascués, N330, Nueno). Turn right at the roundabout and then immediately left into a narrow road. After about 400 m you will find the mill next to the road.

Pictures: 31.XII.1995, 14.VIII.2014

(1) Fabrica de Aceites Virgen del Olivar with Nueno in the background — 1995.

The building is neglected and the terrain has been shuffled thoroughly because of the roadworks, but the site doesn't seem to have suffered too much in the 20 years between or visits (1, 2). The doors were secured and we could not enter, but a few small windows allowed us to get an idea about the setup.
The construction is built in two layers each with its own entrance. The top layer can be reached via stairs (1, left) leading to a small platform (4). It may have been that this floor served for reception and storage of fresh produce.

(2) Fabrica de Aceites Virgen del Olivar with Nueno in the background — 2014.

The bottom floor was dedicated to the production of oil. Just behind the entrance door (3) is a huge space without any equipment except for a row of four decanter vessels. They are sunk into the floor and lined with white tiles.
A double door opens into a room deeper into the building. That is where the oil was extracted. We could discern an oil pump (3, behind the vessels) which means there was a hydraulic press present. More of the equipment could be seen through a window at the back (4, left).

(3) In the front decanter vessels; in the back the equipment for the oil extraction.

(4) The mill with end of the canal (right) and porch for engine (left).

A roller crusher (5) is situated in the deep end of the construction. The crusher is complete with two edge stones and an intact feeding system with funnel.

The crusher (6) is driven from an engine standing outside. Therefore an steel rod passes through the back wall (4, left) and was connected to the power source.

Notice that the power source was protected by a porch leaning against the mill (4 left, 7 top left). The porch disappeared between our visits.

There is no trace left of an engine. At the end of the mill's lifetime it may have been a diesel engine, but earlier on it was probably a waterwheel. There is a canal that arrives at the mill (4, 7, 8).

(5) The torno with roller stones.
(6) Gearing of the roller crusher.

The mill was served by a canal coming from the Río Isuela. This canal ends in a concrete head level with the top of the bottom floor of the mill (4). There are two outlets. Firstly an open gutter (8, left) and then a tube (7 left). The entry of the tube is protected by a simple grating.
There is another canal which runs along the east side of the mill. It is the Acequia Mayor de Huesca which was built in the 15th century for the water supply to the city of Huesca (). Walk a bit further on the road and you will find the remains of the Caseta del Agua (). This structure housed a system to divert the flow into several branches.

(7) End of the canal.
(8) Open gutter (left) and tube (right).

 Carlos Garcés Manau & José Antonio Cuchí Oterino — 2008 — Historia de la acequia Mayor de Huesca (siglos XII a XVII) De una orilla a otra del Isuela. Anales de la Fundación Joaquín Costa, N° 25: 59-100

 We have another caseta on the same irrigation ditch: la Caseta del Partidor de Coliñenigue in Banastás.

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