Mills in Alto Aragón - harinero


Cortillas is situated in the Sobrepuerto. The mill, named Molino Cosme, is indicated on every map, but not always on the right spot. The correct position is in the Barranco de la Valle at the confluence with the Barranco Cillas. The easiest approach is from Fiscal and Bergua. Although you can walk from Fiscal to Bergua, you'll gain about an hour and a half if you drive the service road up to the end at Bergua. Drop the car and follow the track towards Sasa. In Sasa, walk to the west, into the valley and more or less parallel with the row of pylons. You'll find a path down to the B. de la Valle. Keep to the path. You'll cross a first wooden bridge and later on a second one (walking through the water is probably safer) after which the path rises above the riverbed. Keep walking to the west and down again. You'll soon discover the mill, or the confluence of both rivulets.

Pictures: 27.X.2002

(1) Sasa
(2) Pastures of Sasa invaded by trees

It is a long walk with nice views, worth every drop of sweat, certainly if you profit from the occasion to visit the village of Sasa with the beautiful Casa Escartín. Notice how, as there was no water on the plateau, each house had a cistern to store rainwater.
The yellow stroke (2) indicates the position of the mill deep in the valley. The Sobrepuerto starts at the hills in the background. Cillas and Cortillas are at the other side, invisible from Sasa.

(3) Entrance
(4) The work floor

The mill is muy ruinoso and is easily overlooked although in better days the construction must have been rather big. The roof succumbed but the crane could withstand the blast and the most interesting part was thus preserved.
There (4) was a single stone-pair below a round guardapolvo. The crane is painted blue (like in Gabardilla). The feeder (tolva), a wooden stepladder and some other things lie scattered on the floor.

(5) Guardapolvo with millstone
(6) Mill stone from La Ferté

The arbol (the vertical axle below the stones) carries a gearbox to power an contraption hidden below the debris. It was probably a torno used to isolate the flour in several fractions from the bran. We've seen similar things in several other mills (e.g. Villalangua, Gistain)
The piedra de moler is marked Fabrication * La Ferté. It is a modern French stone from La Ferté sous Jouarre not far from Paris. The stones were likely carried on a donkey's back from Fiscal to the mill. Imagine the effort that must have cost.
Read our page about La Ferté sous Jouarre.

(7) Barranco de la Valle
(8) Supply channel with saetín

There was no reservoir. A spacious canal runs from the capture point to the saetín. The mill could only work if there was enough water in the river.
The cárcavo is wide open and in perfect condition. The valve to regulate the watercurrent over the wheel (botana) broke down.

(9) Drain
(10) Wheel inside cárcavo

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