During the Middle Ages, castles were the main organising element of the economic and social life: they were the symbol of power of feudal lords and a tool in the service of the interests of the nobility. Erected in 1240s by Archbishop Xoán Arias, the castle of A Rocha was conceived as a military stronghold but also as a dwelling.
Its location is perhaps one of the things that arouses more curiosity. The castle was erected in a valley, by the River Sar and the rivulet of Rego do Vilar, instead of on top of one of the hills around Santiago. This location is no accident and is explained by the strategic needs that the domain of Santiago faced at that time.
There are few studies on the economic and social role played by castles in Galicia in the Middle Ages. Indeed, it would be more correct to say that there is a great gap on this area. The Tavera vs.Fonseca lawsuit alone mentions over a hundred fortresses and towers in our autonomous community, but we know little of them. Even in the case of the best known instances, no exhaustive publication of every study conducted is available.