Mills in Alto Aragón — molino harinero


Alcampell is a village in the Litera region. The mill —known as Molí de Dalt de Falaguer— is situated at the far eastern border of Alcampell near the N-230 which is the main artery between Lleida, the Valle de Arán and then France. Coming from Bena­barre, drive southwards for about 22 km where you'll find a branch to the right. It is the A-1240 leading toward Tamarite de Litera and Alcampell. This road meanders slightly to the right and then left again and at the turning point you should find remains of the older road at your left hand side. There is a huge agro-industrial complex at the right. There is some space to park your vehicle at the left.

Pictures: 09.VIII.2012, 25.VIII.2015

(1) Upper mill of Alcampell — overview
1Roof of the mill
2Top of the cubo
3Start of duct feeding the cubo
4Spillway of the millpond

The millpond is huge. Picture (1) is taken from the north­ern dike which is just visible at the base of the image. Two other dikes can be seen: West — run­ning from halfway the right side towards point 3 — and South — the wall running from point 3 to the left side of the picture.
The N-230 runs in the valley of the Barranco de Falague. Coming from that road you'll have noticed that the mill is built higher up on the ridge along the river (pict. 2). The water therefore must have come from quite some distance upstream. Currently no trace of a water supply channel can be found.

(2) View from top of cubo (point 2) towards N-230
(3) Start of duct toward cubo

Old maps, however, and in particular the edition of 1953 of the MTN50-series of the Instituto Geográfico Nacional (sheet 326) show a Acequia del Molino de Falague which branches from the rivulet about 2km upstream. Nowadays that is near the Pont de Corones and the K.43 mark of the N-230.
A duct runs from the narrow end of the pond (1 pt3) to the cubo. First there is a grating of equally spaced bars to keep unwanted material out (3). Then comes a set of slits which could receive a door to cut the flow. A small wall of brickwork is built against the grating and prevents any water of reaching the cubo. It must have been built after the mill was decommissioned.

(4) Duct between pond and cubo
(5) Cubo with duct
(6) Ashlar stone inside the cubo

The cubo and the duct leading to it are made from ashlar stone (6). The duct is more than 10m long, about 0.5m wide and about 1.5m deep. At its end the bottom goes stepwise deeper towards the cubo.
The duct is closed by a roof made of thin tiles in the style of a timbrel vault: the arch is formed by several layers of overlapping tiles (5). The cubo is closed with a cupola in the same style (7).

(7) Top of cubo

(8) Overview of the construction with l -> r: living quarters, mill proper, cubo

The waterworks may then have survived in a rea­sonable condition, the rest of the mill however is one huge pile of rubble (8) dominated by the tower of the cubo. Nothing substantial of the trade did survive.

We recognize 3 levels. The lowest level (10), about 10m below the top of the cubo, is were the turbine was situated. Naval (1995, ) says the turbine had a ∅ of 1m and was installed early in the 20th century.

The workfloor (9) was at ground level. It is the space closest to the turbine. The space has a wide wooden door which is clad with iron plates at the outside (see 8). There is a second room with its own narrower door to the outside, but I couldn't make out its function.

Naval (1995, ) says there were 2 stones —dos muelas, single stones, not 2 couples— 1 made from sandstone and the other from flint, still in situ at the time of his field work. They measured ∅ 140cm by 20cm thick.

(9) Workplace of the mill
(10) Outlet of the cubo

At the time of our first visit no stones, nor parts thereof, could be found. In fact, we couldn't dig up anything relating to the former activities, apart from a mutilated stone cover (11).

The top floor is gone except for the part above the workplace (9).

The walls were limed. Most if it is gone, but, outside between both doorways, two engravings can be found. The smallest one is reduced to the heart of a stone. The other one shows a stone with ridges (12). It is a rather popular type of ornament with millers (other examples: Arén, Labuerda).

(11) Guardapolvo = stone cover
(12) Drawing of a stone on the wall

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