The Mines
 Raw and waste materials

(…) nuestro buen grado ottorgamos y conocemos que nos obligamos a traer leña, tierra, sacar enrunas, a la Fábrica Real que tiene el excmo. Señor Conde de Aranda en esta Villa de Alcora por tiempo de quatro años que han de empezar a correr en el día veinte y ocho del presente mes de Deziembre del año mil settos. treinta y nueve(…)
(Contract for the supply of firewood and clays and for removing waste. Alcora Municipal Archive. 1739).

For the pottery industry in Alcora, it has always been essential to have supplies of good raw materials. Since the 18th century, the town has imported clay and minerals from other countries, although insofar as it can, some materials have always been sourced from nearby quarries. During the 18th century, most locally quarried materials were from the Alcalatén area and immediate vicinity (Aria, Fanzara, Mussolera, San Vicente, Sierra , Terrer del Poll, San Cristóbal etc.).

This area (Partida Vinyals) and its surrounding localities have been a good source of clay for potters and chinaware factories. When these quarries ran out of clay or were abandoned, they tended to be used to dump waste from the pottery industry. Today, dumps, construction backfill and the drainage layers in hillside terraces made with waste or reject products from the Royal Factory are studied as sources of information on the technology, décor and type of goods that were made there.

“El Conocimiento”
The Count of Aranda’s Royal Factory (Alcora)
Ceramic plaque. 1789
Musée National de Céramique de Sèvres. 29x40 cm
This shows a work scene at San Cristóbal clay quarry. We can recognize the scenery in front of us, with the hermitage of the same name on the hilltop. Every day in Alcora, at 1 p.m., the hermitage bell is rung, indicating that it is time to leave work. On one occasion, the bell is said to have rung an hour earlier than expected and, by doing so, it saved a group of quarry workers from being killed in a landslide a few minutes later.
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