Mills in Alto Aragón — harinero


Palo's mill is situated in the middle of the fields between Palo village and Humo de Muro on the east-side of the Embalse del Mediano south of L'Ainsa. From Palo take the road towards Tierrantona. You'll first pass the branch leading to Santuario de Bruís and then reach a small bridge with a sand road starting just before it at your left hand. Walk this road and you will soon reach the mill. Unfortunately enough the building is in very bad shape. It's still a very impressive construction though.

Pictures: 31.XII.1996, 08.III.2005

(1) The mill of Palo in the landscape
(2) Roof of the milling complex in 1996;
the roof in the back is of the mill proper

The mills of Palo are part of a bunch of huge constructions in the fields next to the Barranco la Usia and are in fact closer to Humo de Muro than to Palo. The shed which is just visible at the left in pict. (1) belongs to Humo. An old map shows powerlines running from the mill to Humo de Muro. Thus, at some time in the past, there was probably a generator kept running. But I couldn't find anything more than a few small insolators which mean nothing in this context.
The construction is decaying rapidly. It becomes very clear looking at pictures (3) and (4) that the roof and several walls of the flour mill could come down shortly. Notice also that the balconies were taken away between our visits.
The aceitero (oil mill) was recently destroyed at the time of our first visit (1996) and now (in 2005) hardly anything is recognizable.

(3) The mill in 2005; highest part = harinero;
behind the tree = aceitero
(4) The flour mill in 1996;
left = corner of aceitero

(5) Bolting machine (torno)
(6) Workplace with the two
bed stones still in place (pict. 1996)

When you enter the house through the main entrance (image top right) you'll first come into kind of a hall (5) with a staircase leading to the upper floors (the living quarters probably). In a corner below the stairs stands a bolting machine which was used to isolate different fractions of the flour (see Javierre de Olsón). A door led to the next room where was the stones were located (6).
One wall of the workplace is occupied by two mill seats. The runner stones were already removed in 1996 and the bed stones (7) were gone by 2005. You'll find them back in the village. It looks like the crane with the cabra was not touched during all those years (6 and 7; you do know what I'm talking about, do you? Find out.)

(7) Both bed stones were removed
(pict. 2005)
(8) Tolva with axle
The runners were mounted on a steel axis. Notice also the master controls: (a) the levador to adjust the distance between the stones and (b) the rod to open or close the valve.

Below this level lies the cárcavo. The mill has two, both opening in the western wall (4, 10). The out­lets are almost completely ob­structed, but we were never­theless able to peek inside. The cárcavo below the harinero is very spa­cious. We are recognizing the rods for the levador and the valves, both axes and the botanas. Notice that, as the botanas are in the center between the wheels, these were running in opposite directions.

(9) Inside the cárcavo of the flour mill
(10) Outlets of harinero (right) and aceitero (left)

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