House 21

In 1873, a foreign financial consortium mostly of British capital bought the Riotinto Mines and created the famous venture Rio Tinto Company Limited. The long British presence in the Mining Bowl of Riotinto started in that moment and lasted until 1954. Since the beginning, the technical management of the mine was carried out by foreign engineers, most of them of British Nationality. During the first years of the Company, the British staff stayed at the old Riotinto Town, but on the one hand the expansion of the works at the open cast mine in the South Lode that was going to affect the stability of the town, and on the other hand the closeness of the miners during a time of strong turmoil and disruption due to the miners claims, the company was obliged to build a district which was later on named Bellavista. The district was commissioned by the second general manager in power Charles Prebble. The company chose a mound formed by old Roman Smelting slag overlooking the hills of Aracena; this was the reason why the district was called Bellavista. The first houses built by the company were the General Manager House called the Council House and a row of another ten houses more. In 1895 another ten houses were constructed including the number 21. This semidetached house of 540 m2 presents the following disposition: – GROUND FLOOR: Daily live area (dinning room, living room, hall, front and back garden). Service area (kitchen, pantry, woodshed and servants bathroom) – FIRST FLOOR: (bedrooms, office and bathroom) -SECOND FLOOR: (servants’ room, lumber room and play room) Apart from the main rooms, two display spaces have been installed. The first one has been set up in the office and was designed to show why and how the district was built, how many construction stages were needed to complete it and how many buildings compose the neighbourhood: dwellings, Presbyterian Chapel and the English Club). The second display room is situated in the old play room and shows through pictures the daily life of the British inhabitants during eighty one years of presence in the town. The House was inaugurated in 2005 and it gives you the opportunity to do a flash-back journey to the Victorian times and taste a flavour similar to the one that you can see in legendary films like Out of Africa and a Passage to India.