La Tapada Mill

The Molino de la Tapada is one of the most unique examples of Alcalá’s mill architecture. This is an impeller mill, as most of the Guadaíra mills seem to have been, but in this case the movement of the impellers is made by the water coming from a spring tributary of the Guadaíra, channeled through an aqueduct and falling towards the buckets from a height that enhances the hydraulic force. It is therefore part of the “acequia” or “atarjea” (tajea) mills, like the nearby mill of Oromana or the mills of Marchenilla. The mill of La Tapada is a mill with two buckets, fed in its time of operation by water from the “Fuente del Piojo”, located near the road to Utrera. Its environment marks a historical landscape that, despite its contemporary alteration, is perfectly attested. The mill is located on the left bank of the Guadaíra, between the Carlos III Bridge, the Cerro de la ermita de San Roque and the road to Utrera.

Regarding the name “La Tapada”, it is already fully established at the beginning of the century. The story was attributed by Leandro José de Flores to a popular legend about the presence of a penitent woman in a cave in the vicinity, an event that was novelized a few years later by José María Gutiérrez de Alba. The first documentary evidence of the Molino de La Tapada is linked to its ownership by the Afán de Ribera family, at the end of the 19th century. XVI. We know that along with other properties of the family it would become part of the endowment made in 1649 of the Convent of San Juan de Dios, a foundation of the Afán de Ribera family in Alcalá. From this moment on, although with different lessors, the ownership of the mill would remain within the congregation of Alcalá until the first third of the century. XIX, in which the political alterations (French invasion, Constitutional Triennium and disentailments) would end up causing the loss of this property, in parallel to the definitive ruin of the mill.