The Royal Manufacture
 The Royal Factory’s foundation

(…) siendo el sitio cómodo con buenos minerales, tierras, barnices y leñas; abundante de gente para el trabajo e inclinada al comercio; de alfarerías, mulos para el transporte, aguas para las máquinas de metales; y el mar a distancia de 3 leguas con buena playa en medio de la costa de España (...)

(Royal letters patent issued by King Philip V, granting the Royal Factory privileges and exemptions. Castellón Provincial History Archive. 1729)



From among the extensive lands owned by the House of Aranda, Alcora united a series of conditions that played a key role in the decision taken by Buenaventura, 9th Count of Aranda, to choose it as the site of his factory. These included an abundance of raw materials (firewood, water and clay), proximity to the sea, and the existence of an important pottery industry, providing manpower with specialist knowledge of some of the stages involved in pottery-making (preparing the clay, using a wheel, the firing process etc.).

In October 1726, work began on the construction of the new factory. When it was first put into operation (on May 1st 1727), it occupied just over 1,800 m2 of land, with a number of two-storey warehouses built around a central courtyard that contained two settling basins. About 40% of the original buildings still exist today, and they now form part of the TILESA factory, just opposite this plaque.

Potteries prior to the Royal Factory
The Royal Factory was built on the outskirts of the town beside a Franciscan monastery whose church is the only vestige of the religious community left today. In the area, known back then as the Monastery suburb, there were at least 11 potteries. Their water supplies came from a branch of the main irrigation channel, also used by the Count of Aranda’s factory after its foundation. Behind the factory, in Vinyals, at least another eight potteries were documented in the 18th century.
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