After their experience in Yegen, Brenan and Gamel were looking for a better connected house in a warmer climate. They were searching along the coast, but in the end, they found what they wanted in Churriana.The house wasn´t being offered for sale, but they were attracted by it and an agent said to them that he would enquire whether the owner would consider selling it: "Carlos Crooke belonged to an old Málaga family which like most old Málaga families had English blood in it, but things had gone badly for him and he had to run a small poultry farm." (Brenan, 1974)
Graciela Crooke, his daughter, years later, said in an interview: "My parents sold the house to Brenan, who helped us leave Spain in those difficult times. Gerald was his best friend."
The chaotic state of Spain, shortly before the Civil War, had caused a fall in the value of landed property. Everybody wanted to sell. Brenan saw there was a risk in putting their money into such a large house in those uncertain times, but he thought it was worth taking. He got the house for £1,200 (47.000 pesetas or 8000 euros). It was a bargain:
The house contained five downstairs rooms as well as kitchen, pantry, bathroom and coachhouse. Upstairs there were ten bedrooms with a mirador or tower, which had once been used as a billiard room. Behind the house there was a patio with orange trees and a fountain, closed at the further end by a raised alberca or tank which was big enough to swim in. Beyond this was a walled garden planted with fine trees and covering three quarters of an acre (Brenan, 1974).
Gerald found a paradise on earth and he shared his discovery with his friends in letters and books: The Face of Spain, Personal Memory, etc.
Brenan recommended the purchase of "La Cónsula" to an American couple: Bill and Annie Davis, this couple often invited intellectuals like Hemingway. There, the English writer was able to personally meet the famous Nobel Prize winner.
Years later in 1957, Julio Caro Baroja, writer (nephew of the eminent Pío Baroja) also bought the cortijo "The Carambuco". The seller was Eugenio Gross (a prominent man from Málaga) on the advice of his friend Gerald Brenan.
Brenan, G. (1974). Personal Record 1920-1972. London: Jonathan Cape.