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Villavaliente

The village of Villavaliente is the most recent one in the province of Albacete, since it bacame officially a village in 1927. Until the beginning of the 20th century Villavaliente was part of Jorquera and was called Casas de Valiente.
Historically Casas de Valiente is born as a consequence of the privatisation of communal lands in Jorquera at the end of the 15th century or beginning of the 16th, and the name came from the owners of these lands.These lands, situated around the pastures of the other side of the river Júcar, had a slow growth in population and their economy was mainly based on cattle farming, in contrast to Casa Ibáñez, Mahora or Villamalea which had their way of life in farming.In those years of the early 16th century Don Diego Lopez Pacheco, Marques de Villena, by a deal carried out without the Crown´s knowledge nor consent and signed in Alcalá del Júcar on 20th september 1513,took possession of pastures belonging to Jorquera, in exchange of renouncing to collect the payments which were due to him by royal decree.
Later there was a proposal of repopulating the plains of the state of Jorquera in order to give them a more profitable use than the use of them as pastures or whatever the traditional economy had made of them.To this end families of colonos were established in the recently acquired lands and plots were shared out in exchange of certain payments. Of these lands three quarters were for farming,made into plots for farmers, and the fourth part was hired to cattle farmers from the area or from other regions.The first consequence of this privatization of the lands of Jorquera in the 16th century and of the repopulation carried out by the Villenas ,would be the creation of some villages whose names com efrom their owners, when they were still farms or hamlets and not yet what they woul become ( Casas de Juan Núñez, Casa Ibáñez, Casas de Juan Gil, Casas de Valiente,and others..)
The state of Jorquera was for a long time in the hands of the señores of the Marquesado de Villena, until the señorios were abolished in the 19th century, when thanks to liberal laws , many villages gained their independence.
Casas de Valiente , however, was still dependent on Jorquera until 1927 when the population was around 600, and it was then that the village of Villavaliente was created.
The village has an important collection of cucos, which are very well preserved amd which have inspired the creation of the route of the cucos. Cucos are dry stone constructions, of etnographic and historical impotance, which were built as shelters for people or animals, and which tell us a lot about a past way of life.

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