Mills in Alto Aragón — molino harinero

Las Almunias de Rodellar

Las Almunias de Rodellar lies just south from Rodellar, one of the hot spots in the Sierra de Guara. You should find it on any map of the region. Leave the car in Almunias. Then walk the path to the Ermita de la Trinidad. After about 1.5 km you should see the mill at your right. The mill is known as the Molino del Valle de Rodellar (13). The mill took its water from the Río Alcanadre.

Pictures: iii.2000, 03.i.2012

(1) Molino del Valle with houses of Pedruel visible in the background — 2000

At the time of our first visit in March 2000 this mill was still in a rather good shape. The work place was clean, neat and tidy (7), the essentials were present, and we could get the installation up and running in matter of hours probably. Well, if we could get water, that is.

The situation has changed dramatically since then. At the time of our second visit (2) the mill was hidden behind tall trees and a lush vegetation of shrubs, and currently (time of writing is xii.2022) the construction is barely to discern on the most recent aerial photos. To enter we had to find our way through a thick vegetation of thorns and brambles.

The entrance (5) is at the East side of the building and protected by a porch (3 right): a confi­guration also seen in some other mills in the region (e.g. Buetas, Ceresuela, or Letosa). The porch is a place where the beasts of burden could rest and eat: hence the hooks (4) and sometimes also a trough.

Often protective symbols are placed around the entrance of a mill (e.g. Abellada, Ara, Las Bellostas), including here were we have an engraving of a calvary (6) with a simple cross above it.

From the door a couple of steps (8 right) lead down into the workshop.

(2) The same site overgrown with trees and thornbush — 2012

(3) Side wall with mouth of cárcavo ; porch with entrance at right — 2000

(4) Wooden hooks — 2012
(5) Entrance — 2012
(6) Engraved calvary — 2012

(7) Workplace in perfect order — 2000

The hurst frame was complete (7) with all the stone furniture and crane and even the flour box (farinal) with sack holder (cruz, ) present and in good shape. And although the condition of the mill had deteriorated in 2012 (8), the equipment was still quite well preserved.
Hanging on a nail on the front panel of the stone casing (guardapolvo) is an important tool (10). It is a small board with two different holes: a small one for the thumb and the other for the fingers. The miller used such paletas to scoop flour into the sacks. More palettes can be seen in the mill of Castigaleu.

(8) Decay well on its way — 2012

(9) Feeding system — 2000
(10) Palette — 2000

(11 – 12) Mill stones from La Ferté sous Jouarre — 2012

The mill is equipped with stones from La Ferté (11, 12). Alexandre Fauqueux & Cie was one of the bigger companies: more about this company is written in Paternoy.
At the foot of the steps behind the entrance (8 right) a word is cut in one of the stones making the floor: Benigno. The word means affable, benevo­lent, pious, and also temperate, soft, gentle, mild, and may be the name of a person or a saint (though I am not aware of any Benignus related to mills or millers).

(13) — 2000
In one corner of the work shop an inscription in red paint (13) could be seen. There is a drawing of what I think is the Virgen del Pilar, the patroness of Aragón and much more.
[Valle de] Rodellar

The left half of the text is hidden by a more recently built wall perpendicular to it, maybe to create a separation between the mill and the power station. In 2012 the text had disappeared together with the crumbling plaster.


†: Another farinal with cruz can be seen in Humo de muro. Also in Paternoy.

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