Aceña Mill

The mill of La Aceña belongs to the group of “river mills”, within the urban bank of the Guadaíra. Technologically, it is an impeller mill, in which the water dammed by means of a weir converges in the “cubos”, narrow passages inside which the rodeznos, hydraulic wheels that moved the stones in charge of grinding the grain, were located.

In the case of La Aceña, there is some confusion derived from its name. Traditionally, the “aceñas” are understood as vertical wheels used in the milling industry as an alternative to the “rodeznos”. We can still see some examples of medieval mills, such as the one located on the banks of the Guadalquivir River as it passes through Cordoba. In the case of the mill of La Aceña, it does not seem that it ever worked by means of a vertical wheel. On the contrary, medieval documentation reveals that “aceña” was the generic word for mills, and so almost all references to mills in the Guadaíra refer to “aceñas”.

The first news about the mill of La Aceña can be traced back to the distributions made by Alfonso X in 1253. These documents mention a mill “which in Moorish times was called Reha Luet”, together with another mill “called Alcaxur, which mills from a spring”. The mill of Cajul, with numerous transformations since the 17th century, is still next to the mill of La Aceña, being the original toponymy of the latter (“Reha Luet”) a “castellanization” of the original Arabic name (“Reha al-Wadi” or “Molino del Río”).

Together with the Algarrobo mill, La Aceña mill is possibly one of the mills that maintains the most elements under medieval times. Although its origin may date back to the Andalusian period, it seems unlikely that elements prior to the 14th-15th centuries remain, both because of the successive transformations of the building and the erosive action of the river, which has traditionally prevented the durability of the original buildings.

The mill is organized around a large square tower with a roof and battlements. In the direction of the flow, there are two adjoining buildings, where the milling area is located. The weir, which channeled the water to the buckets, ended in a bridge that connected with the left bank of the Guadaíra, thus allowing the relief of the current when it was very high.