General Information IconBenferri

Aerial view of Benferri

Benferri is a quiet village, with wooded square and source, which encourages to walk between silences and pots hanging from balconies. It has a new Town Hall, sports, pelota court, spacious schools, playground, roundabouts, leafy walks that lead to places of conversation and fresh water. From any place is noted the bell tower of St. Jerome, decorated with stained glass windows and with the shield of the Rocamora worked in the facade.

The history of Benferri goes back to the time of the Punic wars between the Carthaginians, Romans, when still there was nothing built-up. Already in time of the Muslim conquest, the field of the Matanza (district of Orihuela), place next to the place where the village is situated today, was the scene of a battle between the noble Visigoth Teodomiro and Muslims. The last above mentioned, stopped in their advance, produced in the year 713 an honourable capitulation for Teodomiro, for which they maintained the autonomy of their territory in exchange for a tribute, lasting this one from the Gothic Roman Spain up to the 9th century.

In the year 768 the Muslims took posession of Orihuela and his region, which they populated and exploited for 474 years. With the conquest of the region there came the technological Arabic advances, with its retaining walls, water wheels, dams, ditches... The cultivated area was expanded and improved, allowing that villages like Redován, Cox, Almoradí and Benferri arising from the huts and farm-houses that were populating the zone .It is therefore, one of the villages that originated in the peninsula after the arrival of the Moorish quarter, for what its name is Arabic. Benferri or Beniferri, Partida de Ferri, indicative terms in this language of which the possession of the land was, in the moment of the foundation of the village, in hands of the leader of the items that settled in this land: The particle "Ben" is the title that was given to the leader in question, to the Lord.

During this time, Benferri was little more than a tower, but the surrounding land was well cultivated with vineyards and olive groves. When the front of the Reconquest arrived at land in Alicante, the region was attacked numerous times because of Benferri was the first village after the field of La Matanza.

La Reconquest came to the land of the region of Orihuela in 1242, by the hand of the Castilian king Fernando III the Saint. After the treaty of Almizra between the Castilian and Aragonese crowns, Orihuela and its surrounding land became property of the Kings of Aragon. Since then, Benferri was related to the family Rocamora, one of the main surnames that settled in the area. After accompanying Jaime I of Aragon in his Valencia campaign in recompense for services rendered in the war, gave them these lands.

In 1348 he was a syndic of Orihuela in the Valencian Spanish Parliament Jaime Rocamora y Rocamora, the first master of Benferri and The Farm. It(he,she) was in 1464 when Juan Rocamora bought the estate and Rocamora's tower, being this the one that will constitute the core of the future link and dominion. In 1494 the dominion was consisting of a tower yet, but Jaime Rocamora started to populate it doing houses and attracting to the families, This labour was continued by his son, Jerónimo de Rocamora. He needed 15 houses in the village, which obtained too well, thanks to the great fortune that he had amassed with his financial activities, populating the site with 29 families.

At this time the Council ordered the cleaning of the Benferri’s pond, a reservoir of Arabic origin of which remains does not stay. In 1622 the new parish was erected in the place, dedicated to St. Jerome. Because of the great plague that devastated the region in 1648 a demographic stagnation and a decline is generated in acreage. Nonetheless the ploughings in Benferri and in La Matanza did not manage to be paralyzed.

The demographic decreased is clearly demonstrated in the statistical information available, according to which in 1712 the population was 22 inhabitants, but shortly the area was repopulated, as in 1769 it increased to 544 neighbours.

At the end of the seventeenth century the Jesuits took possession of some lands of the village, on having inherited from Doña María Valenzuela, The Marquise of El Rafal, her residence in Orihuela, a homestead of orchard and two other estates in the field of Salinas, all provided that the order opened a school-house in the city. The Jesuits accepted and took possession of their new land on May 21, 1695.

During the eighteenth century it is noteworthy the dispute that the Jesuits kept with the family Rocamora for the income produced by these farms, and the grant by the bishopric of Orihuela, of the priest and sacristan of this locality.

As regards the nineteenth century two events deserve mention: the encounter in 1837, during the First Carlist War, without face, of Carlists in charge of Forcadell, and Elizabethan, under the command of the Colonel Hidalgo. On the other hand, the earthquake that almost destroyed the city of Orihuela and that did not affect Benferri.