The 14th century was also a time of deep economic crisis, partly due to the demographic fall caused by the spread of the Black Death. In the kingdom of Castile and Leon the situation worsened with the political instability and the civil war that led the Trastámara dynasty to the throne. At a time of crisis like that, the fortress of Rocha Forte played an outstanding role as customs office, toll and an instrument of fiscal control. The money collected for the archbishopric of Santiago was kept within the fortress.
The archaeological excavations uncovered several coins of the time which have been used to date the occupation of the castle. The most ancient coin is an obol of Alfonso X the Wise (1252-1284) while the most modern is a ceitil of Afonso V the African (1438-1481). This Portuguese coin arrived here with long-distance trade: the castle controlled the final stage of the Portuguese Way to Santiago. Indeed, this is the foreign coin most widely found in the kingdom of Galicia during the 15th century.
Among the coins found, this collection of blancas (copper core and silver whitening) of King Henry III of Castile (1390-1406) stands out. These coins include in their obverse the schematic representation of a castle with three crenellated towers and a lion on the reverse, the emblems of the kingdoms of Castile and Leon. One of them has a “devaluation hole”, a good instantiation of the dire state of the economy of the time. These coins were minted in Cuenca, Toledo, Seville and at the hamlet of Reguengo in Corunna, which had as its symbol a scallop.
One of the coins found at Rocha Forte, a cruzado of Henry II of Castille, seems to confirm the hypothesis that the fortress was used for some time as royal mint, something which was indeed done in Santiago (rúa da Moeda Vella, or Old Coin Street). No doubt the fortress was a safe place to mint coin, which was the foundations of the Late Middle Ages political structure. Would these coins be part of the booty from the excesses of the soldiers of Rocha Forte? Or ransom money? Or money from extorting the peasantry? Part of the salary paid to professional soldiers?