History of Peal de Becerro

History of Peal de Becerro

Since the Bronze Age (II millennium BC) several settlements have been documented in the municipality of Peal, such as Cueva del Águila, Villares de la Bolera or Castellones de la Bolera, which, according to material evidence, must have been walled enclosures. In the third century BC, Ptolemy made a list of cities belonging to Oretania among which he mentions Tugia, in Toya, near Peal de Becerro. At this point one of the best-known Iberian ensembles was found, the Toya Sepulchral Chamber. The excellent and complex construction of this tomb shows the development that the oligarchy reached in the Iberian era. 

In the surroundings of Toya there are other enclosures and towns, which were linked to this great centre, such as Loma del Gato, Cerrillo de la Fuente de la Pioja or Cerrillo de los Palomares, where there are remains of a tower and a necropolis. 

The settlement of the Plaza de Armas de las Juntas is also from the Ibero-Roman period, which shows remains of a walled enclosure from the Iberian period reused in Roman times. The Tugia oppidum was maintained in Roman times, as evidenced by materials from this period which were reused in medieval times to build a castle on this enclave. Several elements have been found in Peal and Toya from this Roman and Visigoth period: a funerary stele with a togado relief, a sepulchral stele, a gate and a small Visigothic column. On the slope of Cerro de la Horca there is a Visigothic necropolis with eight tombs. 

In medieval times, Peal de Becerro is not mentioned in Muslim chronicles, so in this period it must have been a small population dependent on the fortified centre of Toya. The first mention of the castle of Toya is due to the Arab geographer, Al-Idrisi, named as Hisn Tuya, who depended on Cazorla. On January 20, 1231, this King granted the Archbishop of Toledo the lands of Quesada and Toya

The prelate conquered Toya before April of that year and incorporated it into the Adelantamiento de Cazorla. After 1310 it passed to the jurisdiction of Úbeda. It was after the Castilian conquest when Peal became a population centre. The Castilians reinforced their defences and raised the towers, currently known as Mocha and Reloj. Peal de Becerro belonged to the Adelantamiento de Cazorla until its dissolution by the Cortes of Cádiz in 1812. On April 25, 1822, it was declared a town by Royal Order of King Ferdinand VII.

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