Mills in Alto Aragón — molino harinero

Sinués

Sinués is situated in the valley of Aisa lacking any major road. From Jaca take the road to Puente la Reina and after some time turn right where Ascara and Araguas del Solano are signposted. In Novés take left to Aisa and Sinués. Drop your vehicle where the road to Sinués branches off. It's probably best to walk to the bend further on and to try to spot the mill from above before you work your way through the fields and the vegetation.
The mill is built next to the Río Estarrún a tributary of the Río Aragón.

Pictures: 19.VIII.2011; 25.VI.2014

(1) The mill barely visible between the trees
The mill, though a rather big construction, is al­most entirely hidden between the trees. The top of a wall is barely visible in pict. 1 (middle, right third). It's only when you are at its foot that its impressive size becomes apparent (2).

The front shows two different faces. The old corner stones betray that the third at the left is built as an afterthought: the walls are against each other but not bonded. The stones are also smaller and not nearly as neatly stacked as the bigger stones of the rest.

The biggest section houses the mill proper.

(2) The front of the molino de Sinués

(3)
The entrance can be found below the window in the center (2). It may require some perseverance to reach the door opening. Take care and do not drift too far to the right because that's where the drain is and you could make a nasty fall.

There isn't much to see inside. I couldn't find any­thing of interest below the rubble, between the trees, nor on the walls. The stones have found a second life as a piknik table in the communal gardens ().

The cárcavo to the contrary is a must see and worth every scratch and the occasional wasp-sting.

(4) The cárcavo is deep and wide; the roof is a very flat arch.

The cárcavo survived remarkably well (4). Of the two wheels only one was still in use during the last years of the mill (5). The entire system with all the controls is in place and well preserved because it's all metallic. The same type of rueda is found in ma­ny cárcavos of the wide region (e.g. Sarvisé, Bara, Chimillas) though not always with the elegantly curv­ed spokes (6).
The second wheel was a hybrid made of a central part of iron with wooden blades attached. The wood is mostly gone but there is enough left in order to appreciate how it all fitted together (7).

The situation reminds me of our visit to Buetas where we found a similar configuration with two wheels (one iron, one wood) and even the same approach in building the valves.

(5) Two wheels resting in the cárcavo

(6) Wheel entirely metallic
(7) Central part of a wheel with wooden blades

Chesús Beltrán () writes how in 1907 two stones from La Ferté were acquired. The couple was ob­viously meant for the axle shown on the left (5).
Before that time the mill must have been equiped with the pudding stones turned piknik table in the merendero of the village.

(8) The village garden with old stones turned into piknik tables.

(9) Larger stone with ∅ = 140cm
Four stones can be found in the communal gar­den: one rosy kind of pudding stone with slight tra­ces of its dressing (8); also a couple of com­pound sto­nes quite possibly from La Ferté but with­out any features confirming it. All three have a ∅ = 130cm.

The fourth stone (8 background left, 9) is bigger (∅ = 140cm) and of an entirely different make.

(10) Embalse outside wall
(11) Embalse inside wall with slot

(12) Engraving next to the door: 1908
A stone next to the door carries a year mark — 1908 — but the mill is evidently much older. Chesús Beltrán in his history of the village () recites the names of all the millers since 1820 and also gives a picture of a corner stone suggesting that the mill could very well exist since the early 15th century!

Chesús Beltrán Audera —2008— Sinués en el siglo XIX
136 pags, Bubok Publishing, ISBN 978-84-92580-35-4
Dedicates 10 full pages to the mill and its history.
Chesús Beltrán Audera —no year— Libro de Acuerdos y otras providencias del lugar de Sinués
130 pags, Bubok Publishing
Transcription of contracts and agreements between the municipality and its villagers many of which relate to the mill.

Both books are most interesting and free to download from www.bubok.es (latest check 05.VI.2014).


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