Mairena del Alcor’s Castle, commonly known as the Moon Castle, is situated on a hill equally distant from the “Gorda” and “Alconchel” public fountains, next to the “De Campo” hydraulic flour mills. This location near the Los Alcores Terraces, and gateway to the Vega, is a privileged lookout point overlooking the Vega de Carmona. From here, one can visually monitor the town and the movement along the dirt roads and footpaths formerly frequented by farmhands, travellers and livestock farmers who attended Andalusia’s first livestock fair, the Mairena del Alcor Fair.
The latest studies date its origin to 1342 after King Alfonso XI bestowed the town of Mairena upon Pedro Ponce de León to repopulate and fortify Seville’s countryside. The town was gifted to compensate for military assistance provided during the Battle of Salado and the Siege of Algeciras. It was built in four stages, from the mid-14th century to the first third of the 16th century. Due to its morphology, the fortress is considered one of the first buildings committed to artillery defence.
Various structures found during the latest diggings provide a medieval timeline before the construction of the fortress. The excavation area, which contains walls and silos of different dimensions, has been marked and kept free of any facilities and infrastructures that could alter their historical context. Our objective is to study these remains in the near future.
Olive growing is a relatively recent activity, which likely began after the Castle was no longer used for defensive purposes. There is clear evidence that this area was inhabited in the past. The area did not always consist of a single plot. George Bonsor purchased the various parcels surrounding the Castle for production purposes. This created a green belt that ensured preserved the traditional isolation of the fortress. He continued to grow olives and almond trees, and the moats that had not yet been excavated were given over to pulse and cereals for domestic use.
In 2001, the Andalusian Regional Government transferred ownership of the Castle and the olive grove to Mairena del Alcor’s Town Council. The final layout of the park was completed with the addition of the plot of land behind the Calle Real, prioritising the preservation, promotion and dissemination of its traditional heritage values.