Mills in Alto Aragón — molino aceitero, harinero

Caserras del Castillo

Caserras del Castillo is a village in the Ribagorza region of Huesca province. The mill at hand — known as the Molino de Penavera — is best approached from Estopiñán, more to the South. Follow the directions for the other mill in Caserras del Castillo, but continue past this mill and drive, or walk, until you'll reach the lake named Embalse de Canelles. The molino de Penavera is on the confluence of the Barranco del Regué and the Rio Guarte (now a side arm of the lake). Make sure to visit only when the water level is low.

Pictures: 29.IX.2013

(1) Embalse de Canelles with the molino de Penavera. Barranco del Regué comes from left.

(2) Barranco del Regué with mill and lake at right — © - PNOA 2012

The molino de Penavera is a group of three mills: a fulling mill, a grist mill and an oil mill (). Of the fulling mill nothing substantial remains. It could have been the small heap of stones that can be seen above the pond in the background of (3) and (6).

The grist mill is the lowest part of the construction and at the time of our visit still under water (3 right).

The oilmill (almazara) was originally a long narrow building divided in several rooms (3, 4). Except for the two virgenes (the main upright beams) of the cantilever press, nothing else relating to the former business could be found.

The main attraction of this mill, however, and well worth the effort, is the mill pond (6 - 8) with a very peculiar pressure pit (cubo, 9).

(3) Oil mill left in front, grain mill under water, higher wall right is the pond.

(4) The oil mill seen from the pond

(5) Main beams (virgenes) of the cantilever press
(6) Triangular pond

(7) The pond with thick walls of ashlar stone

The mill pond is a wide triangle with thick walls made of ashlar stone. There are two mills (flour and oil) so there are two saetines (inlets).

The saetín for the grain mill is located in the neck of the funnel (8) formed by the walls of the pond. Be­cause of the silt only the top of the entrance can be seen: it is an arch. This looks like it is not an ordina­ry tube like in most mills. It may very well be a wide channel like in (9).

The shape of the saetín of the oilmill (9) is called tronco-piramidal (a truncated pyramid) by the authors of the mills in the Litera Region (). The saetín normally is located at the bottom of the cubo. Pressure pits normally are vertical cilinders of some depth (e.g. Aguinalíu, Alcampell). The specimen here is tilted and more like an inverted piramid or cone. It is the only cubo of this type we have seen in our study area.

(8) Water inlet towards grain mill
(9) Peculiar inlet towards the oil mill

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