Cortijo la Cerradilla

An introduction


What does "Cerradilla" mean? Probably nothing! The nearest might be "Little Prison": but this would be a very significant distortion: rather like the old distortion of "non angeli sed anglii" translating as "not angels but anglicans"!

At this stage little can be reported on the history of Cerradilla. The local village was from the mid 19th to the mid 20th century a busy iron-mining location, and the line of the old railway taking the ore from the mines to the sea forms the boundary of the present property.

The adjacent corn winnowing circle shows that there was significant small-scale agriculture there when water was more prevalent.

A look at the roof (see Feb 2002 pictures) shows the nature of regular expansion from a single room dwelling to its present size. The refurbishment pictures (winter 2001/02) show how some of the expansion was not of very good quality: and the garage/animal shed is breeze block and corrugated iron roof: so a major rebuild will be required for an extra bedroom wing...

Anyhow, as far as present knowledge allows, the property had been owned by Raphael Lopez and his wife for some considerable time, but they had moved to a house in the village and their own children had moved away and showed no desire to keep the property. Thus it became available for sale in the autumn of 2000.

The initial package was for the house and for some 8 hectares (20 acres) of land with it. This somewhat daunted us, so we (Frank & Sheena Selkirk) settled for a mere 3 hectares.

How and why and when was purchase made?

Well, Frank and Sheena first visited the region to stay in a flat owned by old Broseley friends, Mike & Sheila Picken, in October 1999. At that time Mike & Diane Kaiser also holidayed - but that is another story..

Anyhow, we liked the area, and Mike Picken told us how house prices were taking off: if we ever wanted property then move before too long!

We decided to return to stay with Mike & Sheila in the autumn of 2000, but rather than just lie on beaches asked if they had any contact who could introduce is to the house market.

They introduced us to friends from the next village, Paul & Jane Clutton. This was a very fortunate contact from our point of view. Whatever followed in the next few months could not have been done without the help of Jane.

Jane over the fortnight took us to see a dozen or so properties, 2 of which were both within our price range and attracted us. We revisited the two to see if appetites were still wetted.

Within 2 weeks of return we made up our minds on the one with the better views (and slightly cheaper!)

Jane then put in a formal offer, and we rushed to get the deposit (nearly 10%) out to Spain. This is non-returnable should we have pulled out, but with a reciprocal sum due should the seller have defaulted.

Many faxes and phone calls followed, and the vendor hoped for completion in January. My work commitments would not allow such, so in February after delay of one week due to sudden illness I went out to buy, accompanied by Eric Cox who would be my "minder". Again, his help and encouragement has been invaluable.

And so to the picture show, during which I will report on further action.. (continue)