Archaeological research work carried out on the medieval site of Santa Creu de Rodes, in Port de la Selva, has uncovered a large area of old buildings, with evidence of hitherto unknown house structures. Excavations at the medieval site, of a preventive nature, were carried out between June 15 and July 8, and have uncovered an area of 800 m2, a space in which a total of 4 houses: a large one (400 m2) located in the center of the excavated island and which includes an orchard space attached to the east, and three more that exceed 120 m2, approximately.
As reported yesterday by the Department of Culture of the Generalitat, this discovery has been made in a sector north of the church, limited to the west by the street that connects the north portal with the church square, north by another street or zone of passage, and to the east by a space that seems would be occupied by orchards and fields. As in all the sectors excavated so far, before the excavation began the site was completely covered with rubble and vegetation, and only traces of some walls that presupposed the existence of constructions could be intuited.
The state of conservation of the remains discovered is good, according to archaeologists who have carried out the work on the site, with walls that exceed 2 meters in height. The buildings are solid, made of dry stone wall, which uses the stone of the area, bound with clay soils. Several constructive qualities can be recognized, some more accurate than others, which possibly corresponded to various hands and possible reforms. The foundation of the walls is made on the same rock of the subsoil, that is leveled and trimmed according to the needs. Several details suggest that there was at least one floor and a tiled roof, except in the courtyards, which were open.
Of the excavated area, the large house stands out. Inside the building we have seen certain details that make us think that it is an exceptional home, clearly differentiated from the other houses discovered so far. The ground floor consists of at least 5 rooms, one of them with a fireplace that would correspond to the kitchen. The house was entered from the square through an open corridor or alley. Once inside, in front of the door, there was a landing and the staircase to go up to the first floor, a staircase that has the peculiarity of being made of local marble ashlars. The house had another entrance to the north, from the alley that surrounds and encloses the village on this side.
The materials recovered from the rubble show that the occupants of the building enjoyed a certain economic level. The rest of the houses have about 3 rooms on the ground floor, with indications of the existence of a first floor. Two of them were accessed from the square and the other from the entrance street that comes from the north portal. With this discovery it has been possible to recognize the type of occupation that existed in the northern sector of the church.
The results of the archaeological excavation campaigns at the Santa Creu de Rodes site are complemented by the study of the town’s existing documentation. In this sense, waiting for an exhaustive study of notarial documentation that is being carried out by the historian Josep Maria Gironella, so far it has been possible to locate other news from episcopal documents and also from documentation from the same monastery of Sant Pere de Rodes.
An “exceptional” document is the Capbreu of the winery, published in 2013 by Arnald Plujà and Sònia Masmartí. In this capbreu the inhabitants of Santa Creu declared during the years 1420 and 1426 their properties to the cellar monk of the monastery, like their feudal lord. It describes and locates all kinds of properties: fields, vineyards, enclosures, orchards, farmhouses and also village houses, specifying the confrontations with the neighbors and the censuses that paid for them.
Not all the owners have declared their property to the monastery, however, there are elements that allow to relate the space to the capbrevación in 1426 of the house of Ponç Bonfill, a large landowner who also had a farmhouse outside the village and 130 earthen slopes. The house of Bonfill can correspond to the house that is in the North portal of the town and limited to the south with the house of the clergyman Pere Bonany, of Peralada, and to the east with the one of the chaplain of Santa Creu, Pere Badós.