The castle of Rocha Forte was more than the archbishop’s residence. Written sources draw a fortress resembling a true city where the castellan, the soldiers and the retinue of the prelate lived. As well as the servants, there were also artisans, blacksmiths, carpenters and peasants working and living there. The sustenance of both persons and animals depended on outside supplies but also on growing their own produce.
In siege wars like the ones seen in Santiago and at the castle, taking control over this supply was essential to achieve the surrender of the castle. During sieges, the stronghold depended on the stock of water and victuals within the fortress. The land of A Rocha was worked by the locals, who had to endure all the taxes and abuses by the soldiers of the castellan of Rocha Forte. These peasants ensured the survival, of not just the inhabitants of Rocha Forte, but also of the whole feudal system.
Archaeological excavations provide material evidence of this activity of subsistence. As well as arms that conjure up a world dominated by war and violence, farming tools have been unearthed at the castle. They include a round, granite mill to grind cereal. During sieges, the inhabitants of the castle could not use the watermills in the nearby rivers and streams. Consequently, these mobile mills were fundamental to grind the cereal and bake bread. Remnants of other tools have been uncovered like the prune and the sickle you can see on the photographs.