In the municipality of Boticas there are about 240 water mills built with the purpose of guaranteeing the intensive grinding of all the rye of the rural house during the rainy season. This number is justified by an agro-pastoral and self-consumption economy traditionally based on rye monoculture, interrupted by sporadic corn yields.
The mills are mostly of small size with affordable technology. This, combined with private rights over common goods and, in particular, water rights, has favored the emergence of cooperative solutions, such as the day-to-day mills for collective use and counterparts or genuinely community-owned mills.
There are a number of water mills and that were commercially exploited by their owners, who retained a portion of the grain, taken by private individuals for flour, as payment (the maquia).
In the areas of Boticas, Beça, Carvalhelhos and Codessoso, which correspond to a zone of small altitude and more populated, the mills appear in high numbers (67 mills) and dispersed along the water lines.
Source: Câmara Municipal de Boticas 2006, Preservação dos Hábitos Comunitários nas Aldeias do Concelho de Boticas, Boticas. / Photography: TR