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Mills

There are different types of mills, such as windmills (activated by wind), waterwheels (activated by a course of water) and treadmills (activated by men or animals). Waterwheels are the most popular in Andalusia.

Waterwheels, used to grind cereals and produce the flour used to make bread, have kept an important level of production until the 1920’s, when industrial grind displaced watermills. Nevertheless, some watermills have kept their function until the 1960’s. Nowadays, these mills are abandoned; many of them in a tumbledown situation, and sadly a lot of them have disappeared.  

Mills are simple constructions, and generally of great antiquity, equipped with its own elements for the use they were originally built for. Some of them have defensive merlon towers, and in some occasions they have support constructions nearby or attached to them. Many of the mills that exist nowadays date from the Muslim domination era, although they have important modifications from later periods.

The most common watermills are the counter wheel ones, in which there is a wheel set out in a horizontal way, and it is on this wheel where the water from rivers and streams performs the pressure. Depending on the volume of the river and the location of the mill, we have different kinds, being the most popular the ones where there is a reservoir or a dam that leads the river water obliquely towards the mill. With less water volumes, mills are placed directly over the river bed with no additional structure, or they receive the water through a canal or culvert that comes from the river or other mill.   

Some people’s sensitivity is making possible that these constructions are restored and that they recover its original aspect, and even their function. As they are placed in the course of streams and rivers, these are very cool constructions, and can be turned into ideal residences for the warmest seasons.