Mills in Alto Aragón - harinero


Berdún is a village on a hill and easily found on the main road N-240 between Jaca and Pamplona. At the foot of the village take the A-1602 towards Ansó and Hecho. After less than 1 km, where this road is joined by the HU-2040, turn left into kind of an industrial site with dispersed hangars. Drive up-hill as far as you like and drop the vehicle on a suitable spot. Walk the dirt track down into the valley of the Río Veral, cross the bridge (1), straight on at the first branch to the right. Now look for the first row of trees at the right; they border the restitution channel. Follow the row along the border of the field and you will soon reach the mill.

Pictures: 01.X.2013

(1) Molino de Berdún seen from the village. Río Veral at the foot of the hill.

The mill is almost entirely hidden below trees and layers of Ivy. You will probably need certain amount of determination in order to find the entrance and then to make your way into the building.

The construction is built in the shape of a letter «L» and the entrance is at the southern side of the free end of the long arm of the «L» close to the field.

The grist mill (molino harinero) occupies the long arm. The roof and the upper floor are fallen down (2) and the debris makes it difficult to move around the workplace. Some instruments of the trade can be seen though. They are all lined up against the long wall opposite the entrance. The wall with the door was kept open as a passageway between the sec­tions of the mill: cleaning, milling, electricity making.

(2) Molino harinero with its contents hidden below the debris of the roof and the upper floor.

First instrument, close to the entrance, is a grain cleaner (3-5). The tool carries an inscription (5) of the producer: Averly from Zaragoza. In former ti­mes Averly was a very important player in the milling industry, mainly for small to medium sized installa­tions. It was the sole representant for the Société Générale Meulière — see La Ferté — in Spain.
The company developped also several novelties. One was a Limpia Belga perfeccionada sistema Averly. A Limpia Belga was very popular and often cited as a benefit in advertisements about mills to let. How­ever, I do not know why it was called Belga, nor what the impro­vements were.

(3) Limpia (grain cleaner, separator)
(4) Feeder funnel of corn cleaner (3)

(5) Averly producer of the limpia (3)

The stone table (7) is situated below the largest window of the upper floor (2). Some small steps can be found (8) and one pair of stones (7). I did not find a second pair though there may have been enough space for another pair.
Next to the stonetable is a single turbine, now al­most invisible below the vegetation. The turbine is situated at the far end of the room (2, left). The water flow was controlled from the 2nd floor with a make­shift contraption (9) which was housed into a circu­lar recess in to wall.

(7) Stone table
(8) Steps onto the stone table.
(9) Wheel for waterflow control.

The empty wall opposite the stone table is partly hidden behind fallen beams. The patches which can be accessed are without doubt worth a closer look because they are covered with scribbles and drawings (10-12).
Firstly, we have the geometric drawings (10). They are present in several other mills (e.g. Labuerda, Formigales). Sometimes they show a dressing pat­tern (like in Arén, Alcampell, or here in the gene­rator room). Often, like here (10), we find patterns which can be drawn without tools other than a com­pass. Made to show off specialist knowledge?

(10) Geometric drawings on the wall of the grain mill

Many scribbles relating to the business can be found: names, dates, calculations (11). Soton Entrada, Día 10 Abril 1941, many times Entrada next to an addition or a substraction, Soldados 288 Ks, Juana Lozano 1 ??? 7 Ks, Casa Laín?
In the doorway to the generator room (12) there is as person wearing a hat with next to him Antonio Lanaspa. A bit lower on the wall some sums and the texts Molino Electirco [sic], Molino Electrico and Berdún.

(11) Names, dates, calculations
(12) In the doorway to generator room

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