The Castro do Monte Padrão is located in the Monte Córdova parish, Santo Tirso county, Porto district, a few kilometres southwest of the parish centre. The place occupies a rocky spur from the Monte Córdova range, having an area of 17,000m2, located in the limit areas from the drainage basin of the rivers Ave and Leça. Its deployment reveals an enhanced position in the landscape, allowing control of the main circulation routes and providing good natural defensive conditions.
It was possible to document a long occupation period, starting during the Middle Bronze Age and lasting until the second quarter of the 17th century.
The first occupation, located in the northeast side of the settlement's upper platform, goes back to the Middle Bronze Age, with a debris moat being excavated, along with archaeological layers / strata containing ceramic dated generically from the Late Bronze Age. However, the presence of a significant number of fragments with excised decoration, similar to Boquique ceramics, which regional parallels suggest a time frame between the Middle and full Late Bronze Age, allows to propose the first settlement of the place during this period.
In the immediate levels above the Late Bronze, mid 1st millennium AD, this settlement may have seen some development, becoming a, de facto, fortified settlement. The first rocky swellings are associated to this moment, as well as a structure which may be the first line of defense, located in the northeast side of the upper platform, associated to native ceramics. The apogee of Monte Padrão while a fortified settlement was verified in the 1st century AD, from which most of the identified structures were habitation dwellings in the Acropolis, along with the main defensive structures which were target of restoration and expansion during this period, as well as the bathhouse that was identified in the southeast side of the settlement. This bathhouse, identified in 2017, possesses an architectonic structure similar to the known discovered bathhouses in the Douro e Minho region, specifically the ones found in Citânia de Sanfins and Citânia de Briteiros.
The supra-family that inhabited the settlement is unknown, but what it is known is that it would integrate a vast territory defined by the Agrela range to the west, the Rio Ave to the north and Rio Leça to the south, then controlled by the gentillic unit of the Fiduenae, which had a nucleus on Citânia de Sanfins in Paços de Ferreira (Moreira, 2004). Between the first half of the 2nd century and mid-3rd century AD there is a profound urban restructuring in Monte Padrão, with the complete destruction of the reinforced structures and a set of buildings with complex blueprints and multiple functionality in the upper platform.
The native settlement, structured in artificial platforms, was created by two lines of walls and organized in family cores with the associated circular households, is home to a set of structures with complex blueprints. From this period, four domus were intervened, located in the upper platform of the settlement. The decline of Monte Padrão is witness mid-3rd century onwards.
We will find Monte Padrão resettled during the medieval times, between the 10th and mid-17th century. A medieval necropolis was identified and excavated, composed by several types of sepulchres, namely sarcophagi, single lid and box (coffin?) graves, located around the parish church.