4. The Mill of the square
Of all the buildings in the Main Square, there is one which stands out for its modest size, with a height of only one floor. This is the Mill of the Square, which over the centuries has had different names: "molí de les Voltes de dalt", "d’en Porxas", "d’en Cassó", "cal Moliner"... The first mention of this building dates back to the 13th century and it seems that by then it was a flour mill. The front of the house, with its facade in the Square, was where the miller lived, while the milling room was located at the back, where the Rec Major passes through.
In the early 20th century, the force of the water drove the mills. One of these was a chaffing mill, used to remove the husks from grain and still perfectly preserved. The chaffed wheat, also known as “cooking wheat”, was often consumed in stews and soups. The other one was a mill for fine grinding, where flour to make bread was produced. The premises were later occupied by a sawmill, which drove the saws using a hydraulic turbine.
The flour-maker’s profession
When the miller received the cereal, he could not grind it directly. It first had to be washed to remove the dirt, and it was then soaked or incubated for a few hours. Finally, the cereal was dried in the sun and was then ready to be ground. Depending on the type of cereal and the end product sought (wholemeal flour, white flour, animal feed, etc.), different processes needed to be followed. The texture of the flour depended on the distance between the grinders, which were calibrated by the miller.
Did you know that...
flour was already being made in Banyoles over 7,000 years ago? At the La Draga archaeological site, several rocking grinders have been found, where the cereal was hand-crushed with the help of a quern-stone.