The Aldeanueva de Barbarroya Town Hallâ€™s interest in retrieving this singular public washing place is a clear example of the growing awareness in the recovery of the historial memory of bygone ages.
The Fuente Blanca washing place is a clear example of traditional folk architecture, as it is one of the main washing place complexes in the West of Toledo, and the largest in the Jara regiÃ³n. It is located some 500 m to the Southwest of the Aldeanueva de Barbarroya town centre, where the Posadas road meets the Cancho road, in the spot known as "La Fuente Blanca" (the White Fountain) or "El CercÃ³n" (the Large Fence).
The first documentary evidence referring to the Fuente Blanca washing place date from the late 19th century, when a series of hygienic and sanitary measures were first taken for the maintenance and improvement of the sanitary conditions of the fountains and springs in the Aldeanueva municipality. Afterwards, and as a result of these provisions, a restructuring of the Fuente Blanca space was carried out in 1923, in which water was channelled through a pipe with a number of levels and two pylons were built.
The Fuente Blanca Complex is composed of a number of elements, all of them associated with the traditional activity of laundering.
On the one hand, there is the most characteristic element, the laundry tubs, whose original number has been calculated as 83. 64 tubs can be actually found, distributed in 11 rows, forming parallel lanes around a two-pylon fountain-pool. The tubs, all of them in granite stone, have a parallelepiped shape with a deep inner box, and a water drain hole generally on one of the sides or at the front. The tubs have been adapted to the terrain by means of one or more stones serving as wedges or stands. There are more double-sink than single-sink tubs. On some tubs can be seen inscriptions bearing the initials of the names and surnames of their respective owners, as some of them are private property.
The double pylon lies to the Northwest of the ensemble. It has a first pylon on a rectangular base composed by twelve rectangular granite blocks, joined with mortar and iron staples, to which is added a vertical piece in the centre of the South side, in which an iron pipe is inserted. This piece displays the following inscription on its forward face: 1923/ALCALDE/VICENTE/R. G. The second pylon has a quadrangular base, and both elements are communicated by means of a small runnel.
On the other hand, there are elements for bringing water from the Fuente Blanca well to the washing place. These elements consist in channels consisting in cylindrical earthenware pieces whose ends fit into the widest end of the next piece, and two levels with a square base and a granite stone covering. Nota: Text taken, with the authorsâ€™ authorisation (Alberto Moraleda and Sergio de la Llave MuÃ±oz), from the soon-to-be-published study on the Fuente Blanca washing place carried out at the express request of the Aldeanueva de Barbarroya.
Campillo de la Jara in the 18th century, in the year 1782, had 150 inhabitants, and the vilalge was known in the region for its 30 looms worked by women, whose products, the famous "pinguera" or "campillana" blankets, were sold by the women themselves all over the region. A few Campillon families preserved this activity as their livelihood until the 60s and 70s. Some of these looms are still preserved, and the last weavers, now more men than women, are still willing to remind us of this activity, which has now become a tradition.