Drinkwater and Archibald Johnson and Power – J Gulleano (Galliano)
Horatio Jones Sprague and Agustin Rodriguez - José Benso and Hadge Said Guesus
F. Schott and H. Mimaut – L.T. Power and Dr. Patron
Dr. Bryant and Dr. Lomeña – Mr. Martinez and Geronimo Saconne
J. Andrew Speed and Fredrico Bassano – T Beanland and Major Gilbard
Andorno and Franco – Diego Gomez and Bishop Scandella
General Don and Lord Napier
Richard Ford’s well-known Handbook for Travellers in Spain – published originally in 1845 by John Murray – ran into several editions the 1855 one of which has been analysed (see LINK) and quoted elsewhere. (See LINK) Ford also wrote another semi-travelogue - Gatherings from Spain which I have also dealt with here. (See LINK)
Entering Gibraltar from Spain - From El Rocadillo the road crosses the Spanish Lines, built in 1728, (see LINK) now occupied by a considerable town, Linea, of 12000 people, with a church, market and bull-ring. Midway, to the right the great sea-ﬁght took place between Laelius and and Adherbal (Livy xxiii) and again between Didius and Varus. (See LINK)
Beyond the lines, a row of 18 white sentry-boxes stretch across the narrow flat strip of sand, and form the outposts of the Spaniard. Here are the Carabineros, whose duty it is to examine all carriages, baskets, and bundles for articles liable to duty.
This is done most strictly; but how can we account for the groups of men and women whom the traveller will meet on the Neutral Ground packing themselves and each other with cotton and silk goods, tea, small parcels of tobacco, and other contraband articles?
Further on, another row of sentry-boxes of the familiar lead colour marks the English boundary of the Rock. That part of the sandy isthmus between these two parallel lines, is called the Neutral Ground, and between the English sentries and the Rook the North Front, on which are the Race-Course, (see LINK) cricket-ground, rifle-ranges,, cemetery, cattle-sheds and slaughter-houses; passing which, the outer or Bayside Gate of the Fortress is entered, from which the road is carried over “the inundation," formed from a marsh.
The Neutral Ground looking north with its football pitches, Cricket ground, race-course and cemetery with La Línea in the distance ( Late 19th century )
From the Neutral Ground looking south – rifle-range on the left ( Late 19th century )
At every turn, a well-appointed, well-fed sentinel indicates a watch-fullness which defies surprise. Catalan Bay (See LINK) is reached from the North Front. During the siege the enemy’s most advanced trench was within 500 yards of the Bayside Gate, rather nearer to Spain than the entrance of Queen Victoria’s Road. Here, previously to the attack by the fire-ships, a most stupendous parallel had been built, at which 10,000 men were employed.
The line embraced each side of the isthmus, with a formidable earthwork in front; the epaulement was raised of sand-bags 10 to 12 feet high, and of proportional thickness, and 1,600,000 sand-bags were employed in its erection.
The town is situated on a shelving ledge: as we enter, the defences are multiplied; every bastion is defended by another; guns stand out from each embrasure, pregnant with death.
The North Front is at great source of comfort to the inhabitants during the summer months. The eastern beach, known commonly b the name of Margate, is the general afternoon resort. A raised Esplanade with bandstand has been built, and trees planted along the main road.
Entering by Sea - A charge of 1s a head to land (without luggage) from steamer
Inns - Europa, on the New Mole Parade, small but good. Royal Hotel in the main street, opposite the Exchange, 10s a day without extras In the main street are also the King’s Arms, the Victoria and the Spanish Hotels.
New Mole Parade
There are interesting differences – and similarities - between these hotels and those recommended by the 1855 edition which included the following. The Europa – or Fonda de Europa – was also known as Domoulin’s French Hotel. The Club-House Hotel – by 1882 it had ceased to be an hotel and was now called Connaught House (See LINK) - and the Griffiths’ Hotel had changed its name to the King’s Arms.
Clubs: Exchange Club in Commercial Square: well supplied with English newspapers and periodicals
Gibraltar Club, in the City Mill Lane: Visitors are introduced to either club free for 14 days by a member.
Hunt Club: The “Calpe Hunt” has been kept up ever since it was started by Admiral Fleming in 1817. The hounds meet twice a week in the season, and the sport is good, and covers excellent. The best meets are the first and second Ventas, the Pine Wood, Duke of Kent's Farm, Long Stables and Eastern Beach. Apply to the secretary for admission.
Garrison Library: (See LINK) This is an admirable institution, and the resource, par excellence , of the Rock. The building was planned by Colonel Drinkwater (see LINK) in 1793, and subsequently completed (at the public expense) y Mr. Pitt. It contains somewhere about 40,000 vols., to which additions are made monthly.
The spacious reading-rooms are plentifully supplied with all the leading English papers and periodicals. A special room is set apart for ladies. Officers of the Army and Navy and officials of the garrison are members on payment of a very moderate subscription. A few honorary members are from time to time elected by ballot. Visitors may be admitted, on introduction by members, for a certain number of days, without payment. An adjoining building, known as the Pavilion, has been attached to the library. It contains Reading and Billiard rooms, a Dressing-room and a small Bar.
The Garrison Library ( Late 19th century )
Philharmonic Societies: Liceo Calpense: Circo del Recreo; Circo Artistico; Circo Constancia.
Promenade Music: One of the garrison bands play on the charming Alameda on Mondays and Thursdays: in summer at 9.15 pm; in winter at 4 pm
Theatre: Theatre Royal; an indifferent building. Operas during the autumn. Spanish comedies and dramas during the winter and spring
Bankers: Archbold, Johnson, and Power, Horse Barrack Lane. Correspondents of Messrs. Coutts, J. Gulleano, (J. Galliano?) Four Corners
Consuls: United States of America - Horatio Jones Sprague, Esq (see LINK)Spain - Don Agustin Rodriguez;Portugal - Senhor José Benso;Morocco, Hadge Said Guesus;Germany, F. Schott Esq; (see LINK)France, H. Mimaut, Esq;Russia, L. T. Power, Esq;
Medical Men: Dr. Patron; Dr. Bryant, Dr. Lomeña.
Surgeon Dentists: Mr. Martinez, Bell Lane Mr. Martinez, College Lane
Wine and Spirit Merchants and Importers of Havana Cigars: D. Geronimo Saccone, in the Market Street. opposite the Police Office. Messrs. J. Andrew Speed, & Co., Main Street, agents to Messrs. Gonsalez and Byass, of Jerez. Both these ﬁrms also act as bankers, etc.
Stationer and Dealer in Fancy Goods: D. Frederico Bassano, and T. Beanland, (see LINK) Waterport Street. (See LINK)
Guide Book.-Strangers making a short stay at Gibraltar should provide themselves with Major Gilbard’s excellent Guide to Gibraltar. (See LINK) It is full of practical information: Tables of Gunﬁre for the year &c, &c. Price 3s
Post Office: In Waterport Street. A closed mail between Gibaltar and the United Kingdom (via Madrid and Paris) is despatched and received daily. It takes 4 ½ days in its transit . . . Mails are despatched by homeward-bound steamers. Letters to Spain must be prepaid in English stamps. . .
Telegrams: Post Office telegrams to England via Spain 9s and by submarine cable via Falmouth, 11s., which is the quickest and most direct; for France, Spain, and the Continent, International scale of charges. The Eastern Cable Company have their offices in Irish Town, whence messages may be despatched to England and the East.
Couriers: Good guides may be heard of at Andorno’s livery stables, and at the Livery Stables in College Lane
Hunters and Saddle Horses: at Andorno’s, opposite the Spanish Pavilion, and at Franco's, whose stables are in the street behind the King's Arms. . . . . N.B. Gentlemen who intend to make shooting excursions into the interior of Spain and into Barbary, will get all necessary information at the Hotels.
The Spanish Pavilion – Main Street - in the 1950s with a very partial view of St Mary the Crowned – Adornos would have been on the left hand side
Carriages: Light four-wheeled carriages, covered and open, ply for hire in Commercial Square, near the Waterport Gate, Church Street and other places. . . .
Boat Hire .- To or from the steamers, 1s each person. To Ragged Staff Stairs (see LINK) 2s. To New Mole (see LINK) 3s. . . . Each boat is known by its number. The Gibraltar system of currency is anomalous and, to strangers, very perplexing. Of late years it has undergone a change, but, the old system having been only partially superseded, confusion seems only to have been made worse confounded.
The standard is the dollar (duro), the value of which has, by the recent change, been reduced from 50d. to 49d. (par). At this exchange the troops and civil officers are paid. By the new system accounts are kept in dollars, reals de vellon, and décimos. Spanish gold and silver and copper are the only legal tenders. The Gold coins in circulation are the Doblon (onza) = 16 dollars (£3 5s 4d.), the Doblon d’Isabel = 5 dollars (£1 0 5d.) the 4-dollar piece, 2-dollar and 1-dollar piece. In silver, the dollar, ½ dollar (escudo), ¼ dollar‘ (nominalshilling), 1/8 dollar (sixpence) and 1/16 dollar (three pence) pieces.
Pesetas and half-pesetas are also in circulation, but only to a limited extent. In copper, English pence, half-pence, and farthings The ¼ dollar piece is like the peseta, only it has the two columns at either side of the Spanish arms as on the ½ -dollar and dollar pieces. This coin is rare in Spain although still current; but in Gibraltar it is abundant and convenient, being of the nominal value of our English shilling.
Currency Table from the 1855 edition which suggests that things had not changed much since then
Police Regulations: No one is permitted to enter Gibraltar without first showing a passport. Strict regulations are observed in regard to all Foreigners who visit Gibraltar. None but British subjects can reside on the Rock, without a householder or a consul becoming a security.
Permits for provisional residence (granted for 10, 15, or 20 days) must be applied for from the police magistrate by all American and non-British visitors.
Hours of Gunfire: The gates are closed at sunset – a few minutes after the evening gun has been fired—and are not opened until sunrise . . . but the P. & 0. Steamers can land or take off passengers from the Ragged Staff at any hour; and, by permission from the Town Major, anyone can go off at night.
What follows is the usual general history of the Rock from the time of the Phoenicians (see LINK) right through to its occupation by Moors, Spaniards and the British. It ends with a flourish with a quote from Burke:
Gibraltar . . . is a post of power, a post of superiority, of connexion, of commerce; one which makes us invaluable to our friends, and dreadful to our enemies.The Handbook then describes several other aspects of the Rock.
The Anchorage is not good and the bay is open and much exposed, especially to S.W. winds. The Levante, an east wind, called the tyrant of Gibraltar, often causes serious losses. The tide rises about 4 ft.
The Dockyard has been greatly improved, and is now supplied with every requisite for the repair and refit of H.M. ships, machinery of the largest type having been sent out from England at great cost.
The New Mole, constructed by Government at great expense, affords shelter to large war-steamers, which ride in safety within it, while merchant vessels can coal from hulls at anchor In the bay. The harbour requires protection from the S.W. wind, but is entirely defended from the equally dangerous east wind or Levanter. At about 10 m. walk from the Dockyard is the Victualling Yard at Rosia. (See LINK) It contains provisions and clothing for a large fleet, and a reservoir containing 6000 tons of water.
The improvements of modern gunnery have called for additional works of strength for the protection of the fortress and harbour. The Rock has been scarped in some places to prevent steamers boarding it, and additional casemates formed in the Rock.
I find it hard to make out how steamers can “board” the Rock, scarped or otherwise and in what way scarping would make it harder to do so.
Since 1870 much activity has been displayed and large sums spent in bringing the fortifications of the Rock up to the mark of modern gunnery. Formidable forts have been erected at the Waterport or North End of the Line Wall, at Ragged Staff, and at Rosia. These are mounted with 18-ton guns and have shielded embrasures.
The defences of the New Mole have been strengthened by a casemate battery; while immediately above, at the north corner of the New Mole Parade, the “Alexandra Battery " – the foundation-stone of which was laid by the Prince of Wales in 1876 - carries a 38-ton gun; others of the same size being at Europa and in casemates on the Line Wall.
Prince of Wales laying the foundation-stone of the “Alexandra Battery " (1876 )
Casemates for heavy ordnance have also been constructed, at the top of Willis’s Road overlooking theg town. About heavy guns, though of varying calibre, are already in position, and two 100-ton guns are to be sent to Gibraltar to be mounted, the emplacements for which are now in course of construction.
Landing of one of the 100 ton guns at Gibraltar. It actually weighed 101.2 tons
The People - Gibraltar contains a resident population of about 20,000, together with a garrison of from 5000 to 6000 men. It looks more populous than it really is, from the number of sailors on shore during the day, and of military officers, and strangers passing through, but more especially from the population of Linea, 3000 of whom, at least, enter daily by permits.
The “Main, or “Waterport Street,” the aorta of Gibraltar, is the antithesis of a Spanish town. Lions and Britannias dangle over innumerable pot-houses, the foreign names of whose proprietors combine strangely with the Queen's English. “Manuel Jimenez - lodgings and neat liquors." Everything and everybody is in motion; there is no quiet until the hour of midnight approaches after which no one without a "night pass” is allowed out of doors. All is hurry and scurry during the day, for time is money, and Mammon is the God of Gib., as the name is vulgarised. Here all creeds and nations meet, and most of them are adepts at the one grand game of beggar my neighbour. The Suday is strictly kept as in England.
The principal square is the “Commercial,” (see LINK) one side of which is occupied by the Public Exchange. Gibraltar has ceased to be the grand de ot it once was for English goods, which formerly were smuggled from hence into Spain, to the great benefit of the Spanish frontier authorities (placed nominally to prevent what they really encouraged), but to the serious injury of Spanish credit and finance.
Commercial Square ( Late 19th century postcard )
The tobacco trade, however, still thrives, nay, has even increased and large quantities of this commodity, either manufactured or in its raw state, are smuggled by the Spaniards into Spain. As a means of checking this fruitful source of unpleasantness with the Spanish Government, the English Government proposes to establish a Custom-house at Gibraltar.
The scheme naturally met with strong opposition from the Gibraltar merchants and traders, who denounced it as an infraction of the privileges of Gibraltar as a free port and an injustice to themselves, who have been induced, on these terms, to embark their capital.
The matter was taken up by the Chamber of Commerce in England, and the proposal was withdrawn. The Rock, which in itself produces nothing and consumes everything, is admirably supplied. Visit its market, close to the Waterport Gate: it infuses life into the Spanish vicinity, which flourishes by furnishing the garrison with vegetables, and other articles of consumption:
My grandfather Diego Gomez was one of them – although he came from the town of Coin which is somewhat further from Gibraltar than the Línea. He made his small fortune selling grapes to the Garrison. (See LINK)
The beef, however (which is not a thing of Spain, except at certain seasons, when, by the terms of the contract, the succulent beef of Galicia is supplied to the troops only), comes from Barbary. Gibraltar is dear, especially as regards house-rent, wages, and labour of all kinds.
The climate is considered fatal to children during early detention; other-wise it is healthy; disagreeable, however, during the prevalence of easterly winds, when a misty vapour hangs over the summit of the Rock, and the nerves of man, monkey, and beast are grievously affected. The Levanter is recognised by dull pains in the bones, the tongue is parched, and an oppressive languor paralyses both mind and body; when the wind suddenly changes, the sensation is one of the greatest pleasures. It is curious to see the so-called “manufacture” of the Levanter from the Governor’s Cottage, Europa.
The Gibraltar fever, about which doctors have disagreed so much, is most probably endemic. It is caused from chill, and is called into fatal activity by some autumnal atmospherically peculiarity. The quarantine regulations, especially as regards ships coming from the Havana, Alexandria and the ports on the opposite African coast, are severe. The health requirements of Gibraltar have undergone, of late years, very important improvements. Under the auspices of the "Sanitary Com-mission, ’ an extensive and costly system of drainage and water supply was first commenced in the town, in 1865, and has been extended to the whole of the South District as far as Europa Flats.
Water Supply - An apparently inexhaustible supply of water was discovered, some years ago, under the sand of the North Front, just above the sea-level, and this is pumped into the town and upper part of the Rock. It is of fairy good quality, according to recent analysis, except in very dry seasons. It is held by some that this supply should be supplemented, or, indeed, that the fortress might, in case of necessity, be made altogether independent of it, either by deep well boring on the Rock itself, or by development of the tank system as at Aden.
The latter would be a very costly process. if thoroughly carried out; as it is, a great part of the average annual rainfall of 27 inches is allowed to escape into the sea, although tanks are obligatory in all new buildings. Projects, however, for improving and extending the water supply are, from time to time, engaging the attention of the authorities.
Gibraltar has an Anglican Bishop, and the Roman Catholic Vicar-Apostolic of Gibraltar, who is Bishop of Lystra. The English cathedral Church of the Holy Trinity, (see LINK) a grotesque building in the Moorish style, was consecrated in 1832. . . . . . The handsome Roman Catholic Church of the Sacred Heart of Jesus in Castle Road, and adjoining schools, were erected mainly through the constant energy of the late Vicar Apostolic of Gibraltar, the Right Reverend Dr. Scandella, Bishop of Antinoe, but they are left unfinished. Dr. Scandella is buried in this church.
View of the town looking north - The Sacred Heart Church with a single tower appears in the middle of the photograph – As far as I know at the time of writing it was still unfinished ( Late 19th century )
There is also a Convent and young ladies’ Seminary at Europa Main Road which is largely attended. The Presbyterian Church occupies a corner of “Gunners Parade,” (see LINK) and there is a Wesleyan Chapel in Prince Edward's Road. The Jewish Synagogue is curious; the females do not appear, but are hid behind jalousies.
The traveller will of course examine the Fortification. The ascent is fatiguing, and it is better to hire horses. First ascend to the castle (having procured a pass from the Military Secretary, Governor’s Lane, without which no civilians are ad- mitted to the fortifications). A gunner will here take charge of the visitors, to whom a gratuity of half-a- crown can be made, according to the number of the party.
The castle is one of the oldest Moorish buildings in Spain having been erected by Abul-Hajez in 725. (see LINK) The Torre del Homenaje is riddled with shot marks, the honourable scars of wounds inflicted during the siege.
What siege? I get the impression that he meant the Great Siege whereas in fact those honourable scars probably date back to perhaps the very first of Gibraltar’s 14 sieges. Modern interpretations as regards when it was built have since been revised down to the 14th century.
The galleries (see LINK) are here entered. The visitor must obtain a permit from the Military Secretary's office. They are divided into two ranges, the upper and lower (Windsor and Union Galleries). They were begun to be excavated out of the solid Rock during the siege to bring a flanking fire to bear on the approaches of the Rock, by convict labourers under Lieutenant Evoleth, R.E. They are tunnelled in tiers along the N. front, and are 2 or 3 miles in extent.
The gold of England has been lavished to put iron in the bowels of the earth. But “the glorious defence”made Gibraltar popular. And no money was grudged for defences. These batteries are perhaps more a show of terror than a reality. At the extremity is the “Hall of St. George,” where Nelson was feasted. A spiral wooden staircase now conducts to the “crow’s nest,” a ledge of rock which juts out at the extreme N. point of the fortress.
Returning, the “Hall of Lord Cornwallis” is approached by a stair-case also of wood .‘Willis’s Battery may next be visited; the flats, which here overhang the precipice, were called the Salto del Lobo (Wolf Leap). Here the feu d’artiﬁce on the Queen’s birthday begins. The effect is very striking; the Rock gun fires first, and then the royal salute goes down the hill by the galleries to Willis‘s battery, and is afterwards taken up by the troops at the bottom.
Celebrating the Queen’s Birthday - The view from the Queen of Spain’s Chair ( 1891 )
Next visit the Signal Tower, which, under the Spanish rule, was called El Hacho, “the torch,” because here were lighted the beacons in case of danger. At sunrise and sunset is fired a gun, which, “booming slow with sullen roar, “speaks the only language which is perfectly understood on both sides of the strait.
All ships passing the straits are signalled from this station, and reported to the governor below, and thence to “Lloyd's,” in London. At the signal tower, refreshments (including excellent English ale) are provided by the sergeant of the Royal Artillery who is in charge. The panorama from El Hacho is unrivalled.
The mountains of Ronda loom on the northern horizon, Granada’s snowy sierras rise like a shadow to the east, whilst across the straits Ceuta glistens in the sunlight, an African town, now in the possession of Spain, occupying a strong and most insulated position at the foot of the mountain ridge (2200 ft. high), which forms the Abyla, the mountain of God, of the Phoenicians, the Gibel Moosa (hill of Musa) of the Moors, the Cabo de Bullones of the Spaniard, the “Ape’s Hill " of the Englishman, and the African pillar of Hercules . . . . . . (see LINK)
Mount Abyla – Sierra de Bullones - Jebel Musa - Ape’s Hill – 2762 ft high attributed by some as the African Pillar of Hercules ( 1865 – Samuel Colman )
Monte Hacho on the extreme left of Septa (Ceuta) - About 600 ft high, attributed by others as the African Pillar of Hercules and also known by some as Mount Abyla ( 1563 - Braum Hogembert )
From the Signal Tower visit la Sillita,(sic) “the little chair," to which a narrow path formerly led down to Catalan Bay: it was destroyed many years ago to prevent surprises, as Gibraltar was once nearly taken by a party of Spaniards, during the siege of 1704, who crept up this pathway during the night. (See LINK)
O’Hara's Folly The south point of the rock is called O'Hara’s Tower (or O’Hara's Folly) (see LINK) from its having been built by that sapient officer to watch the movements of the Spanish fleet at Cadiz; it was soon afterwards struck by lightning, which completed its inutility. The view from this point is also magnificent; it is indeed the sentinel watch-tower of the Mediterranean, the battle-sea of Europe, to visit whose shores must ever, as Dr. Johnson says, be the first object of travel.
St. Michael's Cave may next be visited (obtain a special permission and key from the Town Major beforehand, and come provided with blue-lights). The stalactite interior presents a fine effect when fully illuminated. The entrance is about 1000 ft. above the sea. It has a large hall, with stalactites reaching from floor to roof, and several lower caverns. In the bone breccias formed in the fissures and caves of the rock, fossil remains of animals, and even of man, have been found. (See LINK)
The Monkeys - Now return again to the city, by the admirably engineered zigzag roads. On the way you may have a chance to descry in the distance some of the real lions of “Gib.” los monos (the apes) for which Solomon sent to Tarshish (1 Kings x. 22). They haunt the highest points, have no tails, and are perfectly harmless. Like delicate dandies, they are seldom seen except when a Levanter blows; it affects their nerves, and drives them from the inaccessible caverns of the E. side to the W. end of the rock.
The oldest and most respectable monkey is said to take command of the rest, and is called by the inhabitants the “town Major.” These monkeys rob the gardens where they can, but chiefly subside on the sweet roots of the Palmitos, and the fruit of the prickly pear. At one time they were unfortunately decreasing in number, but by recent “interesting events" the members of the tribe have been raised to more than 30.
“The town Major “
A second day may be devoted to the lower portion of the Rock. The traveller may begin at “Land Port",(see LINK) and walk to the head of “Devil’s Tongue Battery ": he should then follow the sea or “Line Wall” to the “Kings Bastion; ” and give a look at the Protestant cathedral (see LINK) where lies Gen. Don, the Balbus, the Augustus of the Rock which he strengthened and embellished ; his bones rest on the site which he so loved and so much benefited. (See LINK)
Now pass out of the “South Port" (see LINK) by the defences built by Charles V (see LINK) against the Turks, into the Alameda or Esplanade, formerly called the “red sands,” and a burning desert until converted by Gen. Don, in 1814, into a garden of sweets and delight, of geranium-trees and Bellas sombras; and grateful, indeed, is shade on this burning rock. These beautiful gardens have been greatly improved by Lord Napier of Magdala. The Monuments to Eliott (see LINK) and Wellington are more military than artistic.
Here, during winter afternoons and summer evenings, the fair sex listen to the band, and are gazed at themselves by the red-coated Briton, the turban Turk, and the white-robed Moor. Here the cockney, newly imported per P. and O. Steamer from Southampton, may be seen staring at a black date-merchant from Timbuktoo, (sic) despising, and being mutually despised by his fellow-promenader. The differences of costumes are very curious: a motley masquerade is held in this halfway paseo between Europe, Asia, and Africa, where every man appears in his own dress, and speaks his own language.
To the right of the gardens are “Ragged Staff Stairs” (the ragged staff was one of the badges of Burgundian Charles V.); this portion, and all about “Jumper’s Battery," (see LINK) has long been, land still is, the weakest part of the Rock; here the English landed under Admiral Rooke. (See LINK) Ascending Scud Hill and Windmill Hill, the dockyard is seen below, and the New Mole, which is still uncompleted.
View south from Jumper’s Bastion ( Late 19th century - G. W. Wilson ) (See LINK)
Near this is the shelving Bay of Rosia, a fresh, wind-blown nook, sometimes 6 degrees cooler than the town. In the vicinity is the Naval Hospital, and the fine buildings called the “South Barracks and Pavilion;” while higher up and farther to the S. are the more recently constructed “Buena Vista” barracks, extending to “ Europa Pass.”
The extreme end of the Rock is called “Europa Point ;” here, under the Spaniards, was a chapel dedicated to la Virgen de Europa, the lamp of whose shrine served as a beacon to mariners. Now a new light-house and batteries have been erected. The “Flats” are an open space for manoeuvres and recreation. The road to Europa Point from Commercial Square is a charming drive through lovely shady glens, filled with villas and gardens; albeit these pretty Rura in Marte savour more of the Cockney than Hercules.
Round to the E. of the point is the cool summer pavilion of the governor, which nestles under beetling cliffs; below is a cave tunnelled by the waves. Beyond this the rock cannot be passed, as the cliffs rise like walls out of the sea. This side is an entire contrast to the other: all here is solitude and inaccessibility, and Nature has reared her own impregnable bastions.
“. . . here is solitude and inaccessibility, and Nature has reared her own impregnable bastions “ ( Late 19th century )
1846 - Richard Ford - A Nasty Taste in the Mouth
1855 - Richard Ford - A Cloacal Nuisance
1855 - Richard Ford - Quotes