Mills in Alto Aragón - harinero

Castillazuelo - San Marcos

Castillazuelo is situated in the valley of the Río Vero near Barbastro. Both should be on any map. From Barbastro's city center take the road towards Adahuesca and Alquézar. Before you reach Castillazuelo take the branch to Salas Bajas and Naval. You'll soon find a sand road leading down into the valley at your left. Drop the car and walk this road down towards a bush of high trees hiding the mill. Between our visits, the mill has lost most of its roof and that is detrimental to what remains of the equipment. The mill receives its water from the Río Vero and the acequia San Marcos.

Pictures: 30.x.2002, 01.iii.2019, 22.x.2023

(1) Molino San Marcos — front.
(2) Molino San Marcos — back.

The mill (also known as Molino San Marcos) is only a part of a huge building of which the workplace of the mill takes only a small part at the back.

In the center of the front wall (1) is a tall double door giving access to a wide corridor which runs from the entrance straight through to the workplace at the rear end.

The mill proper is at the rear end of the construc­tion (2) and has a dedicated entrance giving direct access to the workplace (3).

The workplace occupies not more than a rather modest part of the ground floor: the entire width of the building and about a quarter of the depth.

(3) Overview of the workplace — 2019.

(4) Bancada from aside — 2002.
(5) Bancada with 2 stone pairs — 2002.

The stone table (3) carries two couples of stones. Each couple is covered with an octogonal dust cover (guardapolvo, 4-5). The feeding system — hoppers (tolvas) and their support (caballetes) — has been dismounted and is stored elsewhere in the building. One of the hoppers (7) features rows of nails ser­ving as a volume scale. We have seen something similar in the mill of Lacort.
The stones (6) come from the Société Génerale Meulière one of the main companies in La Ferté (S.G.M). A stone of the same make can be found in Paternoy. The sole representative for S.G.M. in Spain and Portugal was Averly, Montaut y García from Zaragoza. This company of the Averly group was born in 1876 and would be renamed in 1923 as José García Díaz S.A. after its owner since 1903.

(6) Stone from La ferté.
(7) Tolva (hopper) with volume indicators.

(8) Turbine with regulator and clutch.
(9) Tag on turbine.

One turbine is mounted centered below the stone table (8). The body carries a tag (9) with the text J. Amorós - Zaragoza. Talleres de José Amorós was one of the smaller producers and in an adver­tisement of 1899 wrote that they were «Único en su clase que solo construye turbinas y motores hidráulicos» and that they had «Preferencia en electricidad y molinería». J. Amorós is also present in some other mills in our study area (e.g. the central eléctrica of Arrés, the molino of Bernués).
The grain cleaner (10, 11) is of the compact type known as limpia belga. It was very popular because it gave good results against a decent cost. It was easy to use and it was robust and needed almost no maintenance. It was also one of the better selling products of Averly which had a limpia belga perfec­cionada in its portfolio. However, we do not know for sure that this (10) is an Averly specimen, because no tag could be found.

(10) Grain cleaning machine: limpia — 2002.
(11) Detail of the cleaning machine.

(12) Bolting machine with farinal.
(13) The bolting machine delivers 3 fractions.

(14) Geometrical figures on the wall.
(15) Calculations.

(16) The back wall with 2 outlets.
(17) Fire insurance by the Commercial Union.

The mill gets water from the Río Vero. The capture point is situated almost 4 kms upstream near Pozán de Vero (20). The channel, originally built in the 17th century, first brings water to the other mill in Castillazuelo (Molino Tricas) and then continues its way further down towards San Marcos. It then crosses a rivulet and continues downstream. (Read more about this channel in Pallaruelo.)
The rear wall features two empty cárcavos and a big door giving direct access to the workplace. Centered above the door is a plate (17) embossed with Commercial Union which is a British Assuran­ce company founded after the infamous Great Tooley Street Fire of London in 1861. The com­pany was active in Spain from the first years of the 20th century and now belongs to the Grupo Aviva. The center of the plate features a dragon between flames.

(18) Carcavo left.
(19) Carcavo right.

(20) The dam on the Río Vero near Pozán (notice the people at its base) — 2023.

(21) The first few meters of the canal — 2023.


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