Mills in Altoaragón - harinero


Buetas is situated in the Fueva region. From L'Ainsa take the main road for Campo. About 13 kms later turn right for Tierrantona. Keep to the main road and you'll soon cross the Barranco de la Usía. Just over the bridge the road turns right towards Graus. Do not take this turn. Instead go straight ahead where, among other villages, Buetas is signposted. You'll soon reach your destination. Park the car at the entrance of Buetas where a dirt road goes off to the left. That's the way to walk. After less than a km you'll find the watermill. The mill gets its water from the Barranco de Solipueyo.

Pictures: 13.viii.2006

waterworks interior

(1) Watermill in the landscape

(2) Front of the mill of Buetas
The watermill is hidden in the riverbed (1). The black arrow points to the porch (see pict. 2) and the blue one indicates the back wall which doubles as wall of the mill pond where the water was stored.
A porch (2) is not often found. We've seen one in Sarsa da Surta, Letosa and Las Almunias. This porch is rather spacious and opens on one side (south-east) near the entrance of the harinero.

(3) Watermill with water reservoir

(4) Mill pond
The water was stored in the embalse behind the mill. Pict. 3 shows the eastern wall and the reservoir. The wall of the pond reaches to the roof of the mill. Pict. 4 is taken from inside the pond and shows the wall, about 80 cm thick, which on both sides gradually becomes an earthen dam at the far end.
The mill is behind the high trees just right from the center (4). Deep down in that corner is the inlet (5): built from fine masonry and still free from debris.

I've tried to trace the channel. The canal soon disappears under the vegetation and I couldn't discover the capture point. Given the size and the layout of the embalse two water sources are certainly a possibility.

(5) Saetín = inlet
(6) Outlet of cárcavo
(7) Botanas with valves
It took me more than an hour to free the outlet (pict. 2, 6) from all the thornbush who lashed out all they could. Eventually a nice arch emerged giving access to a huge cárcavo. It is certainly one of the most rewarding parts of this construction.
The cárcavo is spacious and deep and home to two rodetes. The left wheel (10) is made of steel and the right one is wooden (11). It looks like only the left unit was modernized. The corresponding stones are suggesting the same. The left set is newer than the right set. (See interior of the mill.)

(8) Cárcavo: spacious and deep

(9) Cárcavo: bottom with wheels

(10) Rodete left

(11) Rodete right
As always when two wheels are present in one cárcavo the nozzles (botanas) are placed next to each other in the center between the wheels, thus girating in opposite sense. (See Fosado for a similar configuration.)
The valves (7) are quite peculiar as they are connected with the controls from below. Normally the handle going through the roof towards the workplace is fitted at the top of the valve (e.g. Fosado, Torrolluala del Obico)

In the backwall centered above the botanas is a window with a sill below. I have never seen anything similar before and I am in the dark about its meaning.

waterworks interior

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