U–Th–Pb monazite dating by electron microprobe has been applied to three peraluminous granitic intrusions of the western Montes de Toledo batholith (MTB). Back scattered electron images of monazite crystals reveal a variety of internal textures: patchy zoning, overgrowths around older cores and unzoned crystals. On the basis of their zoning pattern and chemical composition, two monazite domains can be distinguished: (1) corroded cores and crystals with patchy zoning, exhibiting relatively constant Th/U ratios and broadly older ages, and (2) unzoned grains and monazite rims, with variable Th/U ratios and younger ages. The first monazite group represents inherited domains from metamorphic sources, which accounts for pre-magmatic monazite growth events. Two average ages from Torrico and Belvís de Monroy granites (333 ± 18 and 333 ± 5 Ma, respectively) relate these cores to a Viséan extensional deformation phase. The second group represents igneous monazites which have provided the following crystallization ages for the host granite: 298 ± 11 Ma (Villar del Pedroso), 303 ± 6 Ma (Torrico) and 314 ± 3 Ma (Belvís de Monroy). Two main magmatic pulses, the first about 314 Ma and the second at the end of the Carboniferous (303–298 Ma), might be envisaged in the western MTB. While Belvís de Monroy leucogranite is likely a syn- to late-tectonic intrusion, the Villar del Pedroso and Torrico plutons represent post-tectonic magmas with emplacement ages similar to those of equivalent intrusions from nearby Variscan magmatic sectors. Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.