The Catalan peasantry: The Manses such as Can Borrell

Can Borrell is one of the farmhouses that has had a long rural and agricultural tradition over the centuries. The cultivated fields that surround the property are a good example of this. One of them, considered the biggest in the agricultural community situated inside the Collserola Parc.

Farmers closely link grazing meadows with cultivated fields, cattle with agriculture. The proximity of the woodland provides wood for making beams and balconies and an energy supplies in the form of wood and charcoal, and food such as mushrooms, asparagus, pine nuts, chestnuts and wild game.


In the eagerness of the farmers to gain farmland in the forests, land cleared for agriculture had a tendency to join up forming large fields such as the ones we have in Can Borrell. The farmhouses were adapted to the necessities of agricultural production. Essential additions were made such as water pools and tanks, barns, paddocks and other buildings that enabled hard farm work to be done.

The large country houses enjoyed a relatively permissive situation until the first half of the XI century. The farmers and peasants were subject to pressure from the nobles and the charm of the large influential Monasteries like Sant Cugat. They had to choose protectors that seemed the least threatening.

However, the Can Borrell farmhouse is one of the few that is not related to any direct submission to the supremacy of Barcelonas territory, which at this time was expanding all over. The Earl of Barcelona, Ramon Borrell II and his wife Ermesenda de Carcasona, even sold Can Borrell some of the Monasteries own assets, according to manuscripts from 1013. Nonetheless, this fact enabels us to certify the existence of Mas Borrell in the Gausac valley in the XI century.