The first signs of human presence in La Vall de Gallinera date back to the Middle Palaeolithic Period (100,000-50,000 BC) as evidenced by the materials found in the archaeological excavations of La Cova d’En Pardo. Mesolithic, neolithic and eneolithic materials have also been found in this and other caves.
The prehistoric stage deserves special attention the numerous samples of rock art located in the shelters of La Vall, declared World Heritage by UNESCO.
From this stage we find the Town of Foradà and the Town of Castellot d’Alpatró, with remains of structures and ceramic fragments.
From the Iberian culture we have the Village of Xarpolar, in the heights of La Vall, where they have found various constructive elements and ceramics. Remnants of this culture have also been found in different caves.
ROMAN TIMES i TARDORROMANA
The settlements of these eras (centuries I-VIII AD) seem to be scarce and unimportant in La Vall de Gallinera, which is deduced from the few remains found, only ceramic fragments of sigillata in some caves that would be used as places of overnight or refuge. We can think that La Vall de Gallinera was used in this long period of time as a place of passage between the interior and the coast.
In the 10th century, the existence of a network of farmsteads associated with the cultivation of the valley floor (over the centuries of Muslim presence, La Vall came to have a score of farms). From this century the sepulchral Tombstone found in Alpatró dates back to the 40s and is preserved in the Alcoi museum.
Also from the Muslim era are the fortifications that are in La Vall:
The Fort d’Almiserà is the oldest. It was built quickly, probably in the years 920-930, and does not seem to be used for more than a century. It has been excavated, studied and published by André Bazzana. Their occupation must be related to the submission of the Berbers of this area to the Caliph ‘Abd al-Rahman III.
The Gallinera Castle. The finding that Salvador Climent made, in its vicinity, of a silo with white-covered ceramics and decoration in green and manganese, suggests that there was already a fortification in the 11th century, probably when the Almiserà fort had already been abandoned. The castle was used at the time of the Christian conquest; al-Azraq took refuge a few days in 1258. The current building, however, is the result of a general reconstruction after the earthquake of 1396.
The Castle of Alcalà. It also seems to be from the eleventh century, if we take into account the ceramic findings. It had important buildings and al-Azraq resided there during the years in which it maintained the resistance in front of the Christians.
The Castellot d’Alpatró. It is a work of the thirteenth century, built before the immediacy of the conquest and with a clear functionality as a place of collective refuge.
The Tower of the Peña Foradà. Place of observation and refuge, also of the XIII century. We have evidence of their occupation by Christian militias during the Muslim uprising of 1276-1277.
Until the Catalan-Aragonese conquest La Vall was a territory dominated by al-Azraq, Arab caudillo originally from Alcalà de la Jovada, but the Treaty of Pouet (1244/1245) signed between al-Azraq and the infante Alfonso de Aragón, son of Jaime I, supposed the surrender of the Arabs and the delivery of some castles that they owned. This situation did not end peacefully since the Muslims, led by al-Azraq, staged two revolts because of the refusal to fulfill what they had signed. It was the son of Jaime I, Pedro III who ended the Muslim revolt on 1277-1278, and who granted a letter populates in 1279.
With the arrival of the Christian nobility ended the situation of royal for La Vall de Gallinera, which went on to become a feudal lordship at the hands of the Infante Pere de Aragón, Count of Ribagorza. Despite this, the Muslim inhabitants of La Vall were not expelled. The last gentlemen of La Vall de Gallinera were the Borja, dukes of Gandia.
HENRY, LAND OF MORISCOS
Between 1519 and 1526, by order of King Charles I, Muslims were forced to convert to Christianity. Then they were known as Moriscos. A few years later, in 1609, Philip III did order the expulsion of the ‘new Christians’. This order of expulsion that forced them to leave the lands in which they were born caused the Moors to rebel against the old Christians and the lords. The Moors of the valleys of Gallinera, Alcalà, Ebo, Ceta, Travadell and Planes will be grouped in the Sierra de Pop (Valley of Laguar), in the mountain ‘Caballo Verde’ where they would resist the attacks of the militias of old Christians. But finally they could not stand the siege and defeated and massacred in what was a real carnage, loaded with the goods they could carry in their hands and went to the port of Denia from where they were embarked and finally expelled.
THE MALLORQUINE REPUBLICATION
Once the Moors were expelled, La Vall de Gallinera was deserted, depopulating many of the farmhouses that it had. That’s why it was repopulated with Mallorcan families. It was made through a letter signed by Benialí signed on June 10, 1611 by the procurator of the Duke of Gandia, Matheu de Roda, before the notary in Pere Chella, and with the presence of the 78 heads of family who came to repopulate these lands . These families again occupied many of the villages that had been depopulated by the expulsion of the Moriscos but some remained unpopulated forever.