The destruction of the castle: the Great Irmandiño War

Locals, peasants, knights and ecclesiastics gather in Santa Susana, a oakwood at the gates of Santiago, and march against the castle.

The final great war episode that involved the castle and the main cause of its destruction occurred in 1467. Despite the formidable technological deployment, the pride of a medieval world entering modernity, the castle was brought down the anger and despair of a people up in arms.

For two centuries, the fortress was the symbol of a whole socio-political system. But it was it was also a giant with feet of clay because the system of feudal exploitation was based on coercion, repression and injustice. And faced with injustice, walls, wards, crossbows and bombards proved useless. Gathering at Santa Susana’s Hill , local citizens and peasants joined by some knights and even ecclesiastics made up the Irmandade and headed towards A Rocha with the intention of attacking and bringing it down for good.

We do not have details of what the engagements were like but archaeology tells us that they were very intense: fire to destroy the inside of the fortress and weaken the walls, constant exchange of crossbow arrows and boulders flung by trebuchets... oozing discontent and anger after long years of abuse and ill-treatment. These abuses had been reported to the Lord and had led them to request the protection of the king to finally take justice in their own hands.

The towers and the walls of Rocha Forte fell and the castle was fatally wounded in the Great Irmandiño War. 

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