Rehabilitate and recover a 13th century mill and its surroundings

Amid lush forests populated by tall pines and yew trees –and also some abandoned hazelnut trees–, the Lladrons Valley wants to become not only one of the entrances to the future Prades Mountains Natural Park but also a recreational space , where you can perform various acts. “It is the most emblematic site of Montblanc”, says the mayor, Josep Andreu.

The City Council has 187 hectares in property. Some 5,000 square meters on the esplanades closest to the 13th century mill – which also needs to be rehabilitated – are already being cleared of undergrowth and trees cleared to become a picnic area, with tables and chairs. And about 50 meters away is the Fuente de Jesús or del Valle, from which fresh drinking water springs from the rock all year round. The mayor remembers that many years ago it was a place where, for example, people went to eat the mona on Easter Monday. «We also came with Albert Palacín –a great fan of nature– to fill out the botany album». Currently, the good access road favors the presence of numerous hikers or people who go for a walk, since it is the natural path that goes to Rojals.

different plots

The City Council already owned a 126-hectare plot, purchased by Aigües de Montblanc in May of this year, in the Solana area, to the north of the valley, with fifty natural springs. Other 15 hectares distributed in smaller plots are also municipal. Josep Andreu affirms that the intention of the council is to continue buying land in the Valley, a protected area such as PENIN (Natural Area of ​​National Interest) of Poblet.

The impulse that is now beginning to be given in the area has been possible after the acquisition of a 46-hectare estate, located on the shady slope of the mountain and at the foot of the Rojalons district. It is rustic land of great environmental value, where the Valle waterfall stands out. The cost was 150,000 euros, which was taken from the total of 1.5 million from the 10 percent average use of the sale and purchase operation of the two plots where the Good Price and Esclat logistics warehouse will be installed in the south of Catalonia . The acquisition of this natural space also responds to the need to guarantee the preservation of the fifty sources that supply water for drinking by the entire population of Montblanc.

Within the purchase there are two old mills. One of them is Dins, an industrial complex that has two types of systems. One is the hydraulic one, which is called Cacao. Josep Andreu believes that it could date back to the 13th century and was dedicated to grinding wheat to obtain flour. The other is made up of a vertical wheel from 1870 to grind barite, a mineral that was found in a fault that went from the top of the Argentada stream (in La Pena) to the district of La Bartra, where the mines were located.

At the top of the mill there are two ponds, whose water fed both systems. One by pressure since it fell from a height of ten and a half meters and the other made a vertical wheel move ten meters in diameter. None of the two millstones have been found - the one made of barite was made of flint. Precisely, having these two mechanisms makes it practically unique in the counties of Tarragona, where there is only the same in Vallfogona de Riucorb, the Chain.

in bad shape

This Dins mill is in very poor condition, practically in ruins. Only the outer walls remain. The City Council has made some shoring to prevent more pieces from falling. The mill and the old house will also be cleared to see what is on the ground. What cannot be recovered in any way is the adjoining house.

The intention of the City Council is to protect the mill. In this sense, last Friday the Heritage Commission declared it a Cultural Asset of Local Interest (BCIL), which will be approved by the City Council in plenary session on the 26th of this month. Then a further step will be taken with the application as a Cultural Asset of National Interest (BCIN), taking into account the unusual nature of a mill with these two mechanisms. This would open its doors, for example, to being able to request a 1.5 percent cultural subsidy to carry out the rehabilitation works. But the process to get that type of protection can last two years.

The restoration of the mill would be carried out with two purposes, says Josep Andreu. On the one hand, to become the gateway to the Prades Mountains Natural Park from Montblanc. And also for being the headquarters of the future Forest Management Center of the capital of Conca de Barberà.

As a complement, forest management is currently being carried out on some esplanades located next to the mill, where there was once a vegetable and hazelnut cultivation field, work that will last until Christmas. It is approximately half a hectare that will be left clean to put tables and have picnics. However, the vegetation will be removed from the path to the fountain and from the plaza de los plataneros. The idea, says the mayor, is that the meeting of sardanas next year -May- be held in this place, as was done on May 1, 1958, in the midst of the Franco era.

The place can not be reached by vehicle but it must be left at the entrance to the valley, in a place where there is now space to park but it will be expanded.

Amid lush forests populated by tall pines and yew trees –and also some abandoned hazelnut trees–, the Lladrons Valley wants to become not only one of the entrances to the future Prades Mountains Natural Park but also a recreational space , where you can perform various acts. “It is the most emblematic site of Montblanc”, says the mayor, Josep Andreu.

The City Council has 187 hectares in property. Some 5,000 square meters on the esplanades closest to the 13th century mill – which also needs to be rehabilitated – are already being cleared of undergrowth and trees cleared to become a picnic area, with tables and chairs. And about 50 meters away is the Fuente de Jesús or del Valle, from which fresh drinking water springs from the rock all year round. The mayor remembers that many years ago it was a place where, for example, people went to eat the mona on Easter Monday. «We also came with Albert Palacín –a great fan of nature– to fill out the botany album». Currently, the good access road favors the presence of numerous hikers or people who go for a walk, since it is the natural path that goes to Rojals.

different plots

The City Council already owned a 126-hectare plot, purchased by Aigües de Montblanc in May of this year, in the Solana area, to the north of the valley, with fifty natural springs. Other 15 hectares distributed in smaller plots are also municipal. Josep Andreu affirms that the intention of the council is to continue buying land in the Valley, a protected area such as PENIN (Natural Area of ​​National Interest) of Poblet.

The impulse that is now beginning to be given in the area has been possible after the acquisition of a 46-hectare estate, located on the shady slope of the mountain and at the foot of the Rojalons district. It is rustic land of great environmental value, where the Valle waterfall stands out. The cost was 150,000 euros, which was taken from the total of 1.5 million from the 10 percent average use of the sale and purchase operation of the two plots where the Good Price and Esclat logistics warehouse will be installed in the south of Catalonia . The acquisition of this natural space also responds to the need to guarantee the preservation of the fifty sources that supply water for drinking by the entire population of Montblanc.

At the end of the month, the plenary session will approve declaring the mill a Cultural Asset of Local Interest

Within the purchase there are two old mills. One of them is Dins, an industrial complex that has two types of systems. One is the hydraulic one, which is called Cacao. Josep Andreu believes that it could date back to the 13th century and was dedicated to grinding wheat to obtain flour. The other is made up of a vertical wheel from 1870 to grind barite, a mineral that was found in a fault that ran from the top of the Argentada stream (in La Pena) to the district of La Bartra, where the mines were located.

At the top of the mill there are two ponds, whose water fed both systems. One by pressure since it fell from a height of ten and a half meters and the other made a vertical wheel move ten meters in diameter. None of the two millstones have been found - the one made of barite was made of flint. Precisely, having these two mechanisms makes it practically unique in the counties of Tarragona, where there is only the same in Vallfogona de Riucorb, the Chain.

in bad shape

This Dins mill is in very poor condition, practically in ruins. Only the outer walls remain. The City Council has made some shoring to prevent more pieces from falling. The mill and the old house will also be cleared to see what is on the ground. What cannot be recovered in any way is the adjoining house.

The intention of the City Council is to protect the mill. In this sense, last Friday the Heritage Commission declared it a Cultural Asset of Local Interest (BCIL), which will be approved by the City Council in plenary session on the 26th of this month. Then a further step will be taken with the application as a Cultural Asset of National Interest (BCIN), taking into account the unusual nature of a mill with these two mechanisms. This would open its doors, for example, to being able to request a 1.5 percent cultural subsidy to carry out the rehabilitation works. But the process to get that type of protection can last two years.

The restoration of the mill would be carried out with two purposes, says Josep Andreu. On the one hand, to become the gateway to the Prades Mountains Natural Park from Montblanc. And also for being the headquarters of the future Forest Management Center of the capital of Conca de Barberà.

As a complement, forest management is currently being carried out on some esplanades located next to the mill, where there was once a vegetable and hazelnut cultivation field, work that will last until Christmas. It is approximately half a hectare that will be left clean to put tables and have picnics. However, the vegetation will be removed from the path to the fountain and from the plaza de los plataneros. The idea, says the mayor, is that the meeting of sardanas next year -May- be held in this place, as was done on May 1, 1958, in the midst of the Franco era.

The place can not be reached by vehicle but it must be left at the entrance to the valley, in a place where there is now space to park but it will be expanded.

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