Mills in Alto Aragón - harinero


Alins is not near any of the main roads. It's situated on a line between Castejón de Sos and Pont de Suert a bit to the south from Laspaúles. The corn mill is best reached from the south taking the A-1605 running from Graus, over La Puebla de Roda and Bonansa towards the N-230 and Pont. You'll find the mill in the bend of the road at the 46 km mark hidden between the trees.
The mill receives water from the Río Isábena.

Pictures: 6.VIII.2006

Roadside (northern) wall (1)
Wall looking to the East (2)

Southern wall (3)
Western wall (4)

The corn mill of Alins is a humble and inconspi­cuous construction hidden between the lush vege­tation. The mill proper (right on pict. 1) occupies about half of the building. That's the oldest part built from natural stones. There is an more recently built part recognizable by the red bricks. The whole is covered with corrugated roof. This mill, although not a beauty, is well cared for.
All doors and windows where meticulously closed and barred, or too high, and I can therefore only guess about the internal divisions. The door in the northern wall (1) gives access to the upper floor which runs along the whole length of the building. The mill proper is situated on the lower floor. The entrance is in the wall facing East (2, 3). There was a slit at the window in the western wall so I took my chances with a snapshot or two.
Tolva (5)
Afterwards the slide showed a milling installation nice and tidy and ready to run.

A level lower, in the cárcavo, we also found a complete installation: a complete set of levers and beams surrounding a healthy wooden wheel (6, 7). Notice the peculiar shape of the paddles (6). We've found similar wheels in the mills of Serrate and Javierre de Olsón. Pitty that while restoring the mill of Laspaúles nobody cared to rebuild a decent waterwheel. Ordinary planks were used instead of the original shape.
The mouth of the cárcavo was originally a wide open arch, but was later narrowed with the omnipresent red bricks (8).
Next to a tree an old mill stone was found (9).

Water was tapped from the Río Isábena quite some distance stream up. It was difficult to spot the exact place, but I could trace the channel almost the whole length.

Rodete = wooden wheel (6)
Cárcavo (7)

The channel first runs next to the river and only slowly gains height (It stays almost level of course, it's the river losing height). The canal then runs through meadows (10) where it receives more water from some wells and eventually, close to the bridge, runs out in a communal washing place (11). It then dives under the bridge (12) and soon runs parallel to the road (13). The last stretch is made of concrete and lies next to the road (14).
At the height of the mill it makes a sharp turn to the left and between two higher earthen walls arrives at the mill. At this spot the canal becomes slightly wider but there is no real lake.
The last few meters to the wheel are bridged by an open wooden pipe (at places patched with zinc) (15). This is a primitive feature which only rarely survives: see f.e. Ainielle, or the Indian gharats.

Outlet (8)
Old mill stone (9)




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