Tower and Palace of Villanueva
The Tower of Villanueva is a part of a palatial ensemble declared to be of Cultural Interest. The most important feature that gives the name to the place is the beautiful tower from the 15th century that stands isolated as a reminder to an old stately fortress. This was the centre or core of the Coto de la Mata, according to the declaration of the neighbors of Santo Dolfo and San Martin de Pereda, whom indicate that the lineage of Valdecarzana possessed a “stately home in the place of Villanueva with a tower or castle that served as a prison”.
The tower has a square floor plan with almost 7.5 m per side and originally supported five levels at a total of 20 meters high that display aspects of defense such as arrowslits and machicolations. It is constructed of limestone roughly joined by lime mortars and ashlars serving as finishes for the corners and framing of the hollows.
At the western façade there are rear edifices slightly lower than the attached tower. Their function was to protect the stairs and access to the entrance of the tower that was situated on the second floor and was probably used to substitute the drawbridge. The grounds of the tower could have housed dungeons or wine cellars and it appears that the arrowslits were trained on the public roads.
We have to highlight the height of the tower as it is one of the tallest in Asturias. This height must have been a major defensive feature distancing the floors from the more vulnerable lower parts. In short, we are in front of a model of tower, different to other towers in Asturias and built to achieve maximum protection and reduce the welfare of the occupants to a minimum.
In the 18th century a series of buildings were attached onto the tower and nowadays are known generally as ¨The Palace”