Mills in Altoaragón - harinero, central eléctrica

Ribera de Castanesa

Ribera is situated in the Ribagorza region of Huesca Province. It belonged to Castanesa which itself became part of Montanuy in 1966. You'll find it north of Noales which can be found on the N 260 between Castejón de Sos and El Pont de Suert. Ribera lies in the idyllic valley of the Río Baliera. Plans exist to sacrifice this beautiful landscape to the expansion of Cerler ski resort with among other things about 2500 houses and 3000 hotel rooms and in Ribera parking space for 1600 vehicles.
At the entrance of Ribera you will be welcomed by a decommissioned stone (1). Walk between the houses and cross the river. The mill is only a few steps away.

Pictures: 22.VIII.2017

(1) Entrance of Ribera village with decommissioned stone.

(2) Front of the mill with the two drains.
The construction is almost entirely hidden below shrubs and trees (2) and is in a sorry state. There are traces of an upper floor but how this floor was used, as living quarters or for storage, is impossi­ble to know. The ground floor probably consisted of two rooms of roughly equal size. Left (when looking from outside towards the mill, 2) was the mill proper where we did find some of the equipment.
The other room may have been the reception area as it communicates with the work space and must have had an entrance from outside — at least, that is what we think from the remains of the walls.

The workplace has been extended to make room for the generator (4) and this part of the construction now protrudes from the rest (3).

(3) Mill was extended to make room for the generator.
There are two drains below rather flat arches. The left one (4) if for the turbine and the right one for the grain mill (5). The wall — like in most mills — features a window above the outlet of the grain mill.
The roof of this cárcavo (5) has collapsed and now hides the wheel which is still at its position. An iron axle proves that the runner stone was driven by this wheel. There was no connection with the turbine.

(4) Desagüe (drain) of turbine
(5) Desagüe of grain mill

(6) Façade with generator and old wiring
(7) Old wiring and insulator

(8) Overview of the work place: turbine (l), grain mill, entrance, window, generator (r)

All the work happened in one room (8). The grain mill and the turbine are lined up against the back wall.
The hurst frame (9) is situated just right from the entrance. It is also used as a support for the distal end of the axle of the turbine (10).

(9) Composite stones fallen apart
The stones are of the composite type. The metal straps are broken and the stones have fallen apart. Only the central pieces with a funnel are still sitting on the axle. The frame is built from carved stone. The front, with a slit through which the meal came out, is made from a trunk without much processing. The surface is very irregular with the base of some branches still protruding. No tools, nor other equip­ment related to the mill could be found.

A huge turbine is placed next to the hurst frame (10). The turbine is made by La Electricidad S. A. (LESA) from Sabadell and carries the serial N° 129 (11). Another type of the same brand can be seen in Acumuer (serial 156).

(10) Turbine with belt wheel
(11) La Electricidad S. A. Sabadell N°129

(12) Generator with turbine in background
(13) Generator with belt wheel

(14) Tag on the generator
The generator is situated at the front end of the building. The belt therefore must have crossed then entire room from back to front (12) and had to be negotiated for each walk to the control panel which was in the corner furthest from the entrance.

The generator carries a tag (14) with the specifica­tions but there is no indication of a brand. It may be LESA's own brand or maybe Oerlikon of which LESA was a distributor.

99896 Rev1500
Amp.82 Volts220
HPK 18 TipoS S

(15) The mill pond with three doors for grain mill (l), turbine and spillway (r)

(16) Water inlet (saetín) to the turbine
The mill pond is situated above and behind the building. The construction of a new service track left the site disturbed but we could still appreciate the layout in general. Each production unit (meal, elec­tricity) must have had its own section (15) with its own door. The section providing water to the tur­bine is almost entirely open and the inlet (16) is free from shrubs. What remains of the part feeding the grain mill is hidden below a dense layer of blackberry.

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