They were already being used in pre-Roman villages, but the Arabs were the ones who made the improvements in this area. The Benlloch waterwheels are known as “blood” wheels as animal traction is what got the water out of the ground.
They were considered revolutionary inventions in water architecture. They’re made of metal and wood (although none of the wooden ones remain).
Waterwheels have evolved with the passing of time and the ones conserved are made of iron and brick. They’re raised as they have to get the water out up above the plot which then falls due to the force of gravity.
They were used up until recently, just like the ones in the town. However, the introduction of motorized waterwheels made them obsolete and they are now simply used as wells.
There are many around the town: Dormitorio, Morrete, in Barranco de Consejo and Cerrajero, among others.