Dates taken from E.R. Kenyon’s Gibraltar under Moor, Spaniard and Briton.
430 BC – According to Ayala, the astronomer Euctemon once wrote that:
The forests which covered the Rock produced a religious fear in those who ascended it
1333 - Abu-l-hasan retook Gibraltar from the Spaniards - Perhaps the most quoted of the various defensive improvements that he carried out was that of the extension of the sea wall extending from the arsenal (inside today’s Casemates) to the 'tile yard. Kenyon speculated:
. . . the tile-yard . . . . may have been in the neighbourhood of Scud Hill where the great clay fault shows itself1350 – Ibn Battuta visited Gibraltar
1525 – According to the Spanish historian Francisco Montero, during the 16th century Sierra Carbonera was covered with serviceable trees which were used by the then Governor of Gibraltar - Don Alvaro de Bazan - for ship building1540 – Gibraltar was raided by a large party of Turkish pirates
1552 – The Italian engineer Juan Bautista Calvi sent to Gibraltar by Charles V to improve fortifications
1552 – The Italian engineer Juan Bautista Calvi rebuilt Landport and constructed a bastion “defended by a broad ditch there” which was possibly Hesse’s Demi-Bastion1568 – Juan Andrea Doria – son of the famous Genoese admiral and himself the commander of one wing of the Christian fleet at the Battle of Lepanto - donates a silver lamp to the Chapel of Our Lady of Europa
1571 – An aqueduct was constructed to bring water from Red Sands to the town
1575 – The Italian Engineer El Fratino built Charles V Wall
1575 – El Fratino also constructed the Baluarte del Rosario battery. In so doing he destroyed an old Moorish gate - la Puerta de Algeciras - on which was sculptured the old Moorish emblem of the Key.
1587 – The Convent of Santa Clara – belonging to the Franciscan Order – was founded:
. . . in the private houses of its foundresses and its first Abbess was a relative of theirs Leonora Gentil who came from Seville . . and whose name is still recalled (although perhaps not intentionally) by Leonora’s Cave”.1607 – The Battle of Gibraltar in which the Dutch fought a Spanish fleet near the New Mole took place
Battle of Gibraltar (1607 - Adam Willaerts )
1618 – A series of 44 towers were constructed from the mouth of the Guadiaro River to the Portuguese frontier during the reign of Philip III as a defence against further raids by pirates. Several of these towers still remained standing in 1911 such as those known as the First and Second Towers on the Guadiaro River and the Rocadillo Tower near the mouth of the Guadaranque River1620 – The Torre del Tuerto at the New Mole was rebuilt and enlarged when it was given
. . . all the size and importance of a castle with suitable artillery and had its own Governor – (According to Montero)
The body of the fort was formed by a pentagon of Moorish foundation. It site is now occupied by Alexandra Battery.
1684 – Death of Doña María Ana de Moya Arnedo wife of Don Francisco de Angelo y Castro, Governor of Gibraltar at the time. She was buried in the old church of the Franciscan Monastery now King’s Chapel
1693 - During the War of the League of Augsburg, Admiral George Rooke was defeated off Laos by Admiral Tourville and took refuge in Gibraltar. He was pursued by the French who bombarded the Rock for nine days driving the inhabitants on to higher ground and compelling the nuns of Santa Clara to seek shelter in the hermitage of our Lady of Europa.
1694 – A Water Fountain constructed in Commercial Square by Fountain Ramp1704 – Prince George of Hesse mounted guns on the Devil’s Tower
1704 – Prince of Hess ordered the creation of the inundation:
. . . which is shown by a plan in James to have taken the form of an irregular morass until 1731
1704 – The Spanish officer, Colonel Figueroa and 500 men – under the guidance of a local goatherd - Simon Susarte – failed in their attempt to surprise the British by climbing the “impossible” east side of the Rock
1705 – According to a manuscript probably dated 1767 in possession – in 1911 – of Major Harrison, secretary of the R.E. Institute states that:
At the end of this guard called the Rock Guard is the place from whence they say the General or Chief Officer of the En: threw himself down in 1705 and his bones are still reported to lye (sic) in a cliff halfway between it and the Queen’s Battery on the N end of the Rock, after having been disappointed of storming the Garr.
1705 – The Spaniards assaulted and took “El Pastel” or the “Round Tower” (of which not even the foundations remained by 1911) for about an hour but were repulsed
Plan showing inundation as a morass and the round tower (E) (1704 – Col D'Harcourt )
. . was removed out of their quarters and put into the very worst and ruined houses to make room for strangers
1706 – After the capture of Gibraltar its Spanish inhabitants migrated and re-founded Algeciras, as well as founding San Roque and Los Barrios – all three combined were referred to in Royal despatches as:
My City of Gibraltar residents in its territoryKenyon took this from the Spanish historian Francisco Montero:
Tanto Algeciras como Los Barrios estaban sujetas la jurisdicción de San Roque, asiento del Ayuntamiento de la antigua ciudad; y todas tres poblaciones representaban al perdido Gibraltar, llamándolas el Rey en sus despachos: "Mi ciudad de Gibraltar residente en su campo." Pero San Roque era la cabeza de este cuerpo y en ella residían las autoridades civiles y militares del campo.Most modern histories attribute the King’s reference of “Mi Ciudad en Gibraltar etc” only to San Roque.
1712 – The Treaty of Utrecht was signed
1720 - Acting Governor Colonel Kane arrives in Gibraltar
1720 – The Prince’s Lines constructed
1726-1746 – Confraternity of the True Cross in Main Street on site on which the Cafe Universal stood in the 20th century – was converted into a Barracks. Horse Barracks Lane probably gets its name from this barracks1726 – 1746 – The Hermitage of Los Remedios converted into a barracks
1726-1746 - Skinner records that between these dates:
Four Chapels, viz., La Vera Cruze, La Misericordia, the Hospital, and St. Clara were rebuilt for Soldiers’ Barracks.1727 - According to a map by J. Emden the future inundations was described as:
A Morass about three feet deep, dry the end of May
1727 – The 13th Siege started – Lieutenant-General William Hargrave was the Commander of the troops. He would later become Governor of the Rock in 1739
1727 – A Genoese Tower in the isthmus is mentioned in the Spanish Orders during the 13th Siege – Catalan Bay is called the Genoese Cove and the name of the Devil’s tower was changed to S. Pedro.
This day is to be put into execution the opening of our works and batteries against the Garrison from the Devil’s Tower (now named San Pedro) through the middle of the sands to the west strand: the parade of arms is to be established on the east strand near the Genoese Cove . . . the Lieutenant-General to be with the workmen . . and to take up the ground from the first parade of arms to the Tower of St Peter . . . and the Major-General is to take up the second parade from the east strand to the Genoese Tower . . . .
( 1730 - Isidoro Prospero de Verboom )
1727 – The name of “Camp Bay” dates from the 13th Siege when a regiment was encamped above it in Rosia Parade when then extended as far south as Parson’s Lodge
1727 – The 13th Siege was also responsible for the destruction of most trees on the Rock – according to James:
Many trees and vines flourished upon the Mountain when the Spaniards attempted to surprise the garrison over the middle hill: and many continued until 1727 when the regiments that were encamped to southward had leave to cut some for their firing, which they took in its full latitude and levelled almost the whole.
1727 – Another name associated with the 13th Siege is that of the naval officer Lord Forbes. Forbes Battery was named after him
1727 – The name “Ragged Staff” appears in Garrison Orders – the Wharf however was not built until the year 17361728 – A plan in the Impartial Account shows the:
. . . the old Mole, ye head lower’d and made 30’ longer than before ye siege1728 - The Spanish Court issued a remonstrance which is quoted by Ayala.
Although this fortress was given up without any territorial jurisdiction and without any open communication with the surrounding country on the land side, the English require that the distance of a cannon should be comprehended, and although it was agreed mutually to abandon the posts on which the dispute was grounded (which were one in front of the Genoese tower, another near the Rock under the Pastelillo and another on the east little distant from the Rock and near the Devil’s Tower) yet they have since occupied them without any regard to the Treaty1730 – Hesse’s Demi-Bastion was reconstructed
1730-1738 – The Line Wall from Waterport to South Bastion was repaired following the line of the old Moorish wall which was in many places left exactly as it stood but covered in by new work
1730 – Montagu Bastion – then called The Duke of Montagu Bastion and in Spanish days the Plataforma de San Andrés – took its name from the short-lived Duchy of Montagu created by Queen Anne. The first Duke’s House in London became the British Museum
1730-1735 – South Barracks was built. It was originally referred to as the New Barracks. Drinkwater described them as:
. . . this noble range of buildings capable of accommodating about 1200 officers and menIn Kenyon’s day (1911) it could still cope with 450 men
Plan of “New Barracks without its north and south Officers’ Pavilions ( 1751 - James Gabriel Montressor )
1731 - The esplanade on the site of the Casemates Barracks was cleared of rubbish caused by the bombardments of the 13th Siege. The rubble was used to widen the part of the Old Mole called the Bomb Battery
1731 – It was during the removal of rubble from Casemates caused by the 13th Siege that the old parish church of St Jago was removed in whole or in part.1731-1732- Prince’s Lines widened and casemates added
1731-1734 – The Morass in the isthmus was converted into an inundation by being dug out to two feet below low-water mark, with many deep pits in it
1732 - Willis’s Batteries (named after Princesses Caroline, Anne, and Amelia) was completed
1736 – The Contractor to the Victualling Office built the wharf called Ragged Staff which in 1911 had already been merged with the Ordnance wharf. According to Kenyon:
The reason for the adoption of this name is not recorded. In a plan of 1750 it is spelt Wragged Staff and it seems just possible that the name is a rough anagram of that of Sir Charles Wager, First Lord of the Admiralty in 1736, suggested by the shape of the original wharf. No connection has been traced with the families of Beauchamp, Neville, or Dudley who bore the Ragged Staff as part of their Arms. The Grevilles did not acquire it until 1759
1739 – Buildings on the east side of the far south of Southport Street were converted into Hargrave’s Barracks1740 – A paper in the British Museum refers to a large number of apes being sent to Gibraltar
1740 – Apes subjected to a poll-tax
1745 – The name “Catalan Bay” first appears on a plan dated 1745 found in the R.E. Office
1750 – Catalan Bay appears as “Catalan’s Bay” in a print “Perspective east view of the Rock” published in 1750 and which hangs in the Garrison Library
1755 – A tremendous earthquake took place.
1755 – According to Thomas James, in Gibraltar:
. . . the vine flourished in an exuberance hardly to me paralleled anywhere, the large red, the large round white, the long red grape, the long white grape, the small round grape both white and red, the small black grape, the white and red muscatel.
1756 – The cemetery at the North Front was commenced. In a MS. account of ‘Occurrences at Gibraltar when Lord Tyrawley was Governor in 1756-7:
. . . it is recorded under date 30th October 1756, that ‘Great inconvenience arising from burying in the Red Sands which were almost covered with graves, Lord Tyrawley sent out the Town Major and Camp Colourmen to mark out a Burying Place without Landport towards the Devil’s Tower designing that both soldiers and sailors should bury there for the futureAnd under date 1st November it is noted:
The burials began to-day on the north side.
There is, however, no existing record of any grave earlier than 1804. A map of the eighteenth century in the British Museum shows the ‘Soldiers’ burying place ’ on the south glacis outside the South Bastion and no doubt it had extended from there throughout the Red Sands.1756 - The Tyrawley MS. records that in October 1756:
The Glacis was cleared of the Grave Stones and Monuments and the stones employed in raising the new Walls along the Line, the old ones being pulled down to widen the Rampart.
1756 – San Roque, Algeciras and Los Barrios were divided into three separate towns or entities
1756 –North Bastion was enlarged - According to Skinner it was originally a square Moorish Tower
1760 - Major Green arrived on the Rock as commander of the Engineers with instructions to fortify the place
Colonel William Green ( Mid 18th century- after George Carter )
Couvre Port Work covering Landport was reformed . . into a battery for three guns1762 – The War Office Journal reported that a party of:
. . . 330 men per day composed of Jews Genoese etc was employed for nine days to level the sands across the isthmus, between the Spanish Hutts and the Inundation, finished 9th January 1762
1762 – The original Prince George’s Battery was constructed for six heavy guns and two howitzers
1762-1777 - General Cornwallis (whose connection with Gibraltar has been commemorated by the name of ‘Cornwallis Hall’ given to one of the most striking features of the Galleries) was Governor; and during his time Windmill Hill also was fortified.
1766 – There was a terrific storm during which about 130 feet of Line Wall was carried away near the southernmost point of Rosia Bay. This was rebuilt into Lord Granby’s Battery for five guns. The following is an extract from a report by Major-General Irwin was published in the Annual Register for 1786:
Between 8 and 9 at night the whole hill and town seemed to be on fire, and spouts of water poured down from the clouds. . . . In a few minutes the ground floors of all the houses in the town were full of water, the hail and rubbish having stopped up the drains. . . . Almost everybody in the town has suffered. It is scarcely possible to describe the melancholy scene of parts of houses, furniture, men, women, children, and animals of all sorts floating in the water, or stuck in the rubbish; and to suppose that since the misfortune at Lisbon, so dreadful an accident hath not happened to any town; nor could anything more resemble that than this, many of the streets being entirely choked up with the rubbish, and the inhabitants obliged to come out at their upper windows, and some to break their way through the tops of their houses.
1767 – According to a manuscript held by the RE Institute, the name of Mount Misery was attached to a very high thick wall that was part of the New Mole which was described as follows:
It runs into the sea only about 110 yards in length. The Mole Batt(er)y or high Platform faced the North West but there has been a new one made lately facing about S(outh) mounting 10 guns by which it is greatly strengthened. In it is the remains of a very high square wall once called Mount Misery because the Breaking down thereof was ordered as a punishment
1768 - In Kenyon’s day there were several chambers underneath the Field officer’s Quarters which were supposed to have been storerooms or granaries in days gone. Kenyon’s quote from an unpublished manuscript entitled History of Gibraltar dated and signed R.H. 1767 paints a rather curious picture:
It is confidently reported that there are many subterraneous apartments here – vizz in the Moorish Castle’ which are now shut up, it being thought that many bodies of those who have died of the plague are shut up therein. It is said that the Jews have offered to build the same anew or else furnish the Garrison with provisions for seven years if they might have leave to pull it down, they pretending that something is his therein belonging to their law or would direct them to find their lost brethren , but it may be presumed that (if this were true) they expected something else there, and it being of such use for the safety of the Garrison and perhaps afraid of raising pestilential vapours thereby if open’d has made their proposal (if any such has been made) to be refused.
1769 - According to Green the ‘Sea Line Wall and the Line of the Coast from Prince William’s Battery joining immediately to the south-east angle of the New Mole Fort’ received:
. . . in a very particular manner, all kind of repair and reformation as far as the guardroom at Bona Vista. At Camp Bay, etc., the cliffs being scarped and built up and the old walls being rendered more inaccessible.
1771 - A quaint addition to the defences was made in the shape of ‘Healy’s mortar,’ which may still be seen near Queen’s Gate. It is cut in the solid rock and was intended to be used against landing parties
Sketch of Healy’s Mortar (1977 – George Palao )
1771 - The Naval Hospital was built to accommodate 1000 patients, and was long known as the Cobb,or Dollar, Hospital, on account of its excessive costliness
1772 – The Company of Military Artificers, which was the beginning of the rank and file of the Royal Engineers, was formed on the recommendation of the Chief Engineer, Lieut.-Colonel (afterwards Sir William) Green. Until that year all the fortification work had been done by civil labour (which proved very unsatisfactory) or by mechanics drawn from the regiments in garrison, especially the artillery
1773 - Lieut-General Boyd laid the foundation-stone of the King’s Bastion, which was built from Green’s designs by the Artificers and which may therefore be fairly taken as a memorial of General Boyd, who is buried under it in a vault prepared at his express desire and whose epitaph may still be seen on its walls; of Green, the Chief Engineer throughout the Great Siege of 1779-83; and of the birth of the Corps of Royal Engineers,
The casemates of King’s Bastion were intended for a regiment of 800 men and were occupied accordingly sufficient proof to anyone acquainted with the place of the advance which has been made in the housing of troops since that time.
1773 – The ‘Prince of Orange’s ’and ‘Duke of Montagu’s ’ Batteries were enlarged from Green’s designs into Orange and Montagu Bastions. The Cavalier or Montagu Bastion was constructed during the Great Siege.
1775 – William Green cleared an enclosed a piece of ground on the upper Rock an which encompassing about half the area in 1911 of the grounds of “Mount Pleasant”. During the Siege he occupied the house he built on it
1779 – 1782 – Several residential “bombproofs” were constructed during the Siege including those at Engineer House and Mount Pleasant. One of these still existed in 1911 under the south end of the tennis court and was used as a water tank. The Governor (General Eliott), and the lieutenant Governor (Robert Boyd) both had “bombproofed” their town quarters and parties were constantly employed repairing any damage. During the day Eliott stayed in a tent pitched in a rising mound to the south of Red Sands and returned to the Convent at night. Boyd stayed in town throughout – he lived inside the bombproof casemates of the King’s Bastion
1779 -1783 - The start of the Great Siege in June 1779 all communication between Gibraltar and the Spanish territory was closed by order from Madrid, but no shot was fired until 5th July when the Europa batteries fired at a schooner which stood over from Algeciras to reconnoitre. The enemy’s first
shot was on 11th July from Fort St. Barbara at a boat of H.M.S. Childers which was chasing a Settee. On 16th July a Spanish squadron arrived and from that date Gibraltar was blockaded by land and sea.
1779-1783 – During the Siege factories producing shells and cannons were established in Jimena
1779 – Buildings were constructed for Spanish troops in the outskirts of the ancient town of Carteia. The area became known as Campamento.1779 - Lieutenant Holloway of the Engineers records in his diary:
Began fitting up Poca Roca’s Cave as apartments for the Governorbut it does not appear that he ever occupied it.
1779 – Fire opened on newly constructed Spanish works from Superior Battery which the next day received the name of Green’s Lodge. It had been constructed in 1779 and was at the time the highest battery on the Rock
1779 – Smallpox reappeared and caused 500 deaths mainly among children
1779 – According to Porter’s History of the Engineers ‘a 24 pounder, afterwards known as Rock Gun’ was mounted on the northern summit
1780 – First Relief of Gibraltar by Admiral G. Rodney. He left with women and children of families that had not twelve months’ provisions
Rodney relieving Gibraltar ( Late 18th century - Dominic Serres )
1780 - The Sandpits Cemetery (which were used for a long time as a place of execution) appears to have been originated on this year because – according to Drinkwater - a burial party at the Cemetery on the North Front was disturbed by the Spanish fire
1780 – A windmill for grinding corn captured from a Dutchman was erected near the Garrison hospital but being a failure in that position was moved to Wind-mill Hill
1780 – The Sultan of Morocco cut off all supplies to the Rock. From then on the only relief was via blockade runners from England and Minorca1780 – The Queen lines were constructed
1781 – Second Relief of Gibraltar by Admiral Darby
1781 – A great Sortie was made that destroyed the enemy’s siege works
1782 – The destruction of the enemy’s floating batteries using red-hot shot – Elliott took his post at King’s Bastion, Boyd on South Bastion
The defeat of the Floating Batteries (1791 - John Singleton Copley)
1782 – A detachment of Corsicans numbering about 70 officers and men arrived in Gibraltar, The were first posted in Windmill Hill to guard the prisoners and guards for Rock gun, Queen’s Lines and above Middle Hill. They are commemorated by ‘Corsican Post’.
1782 – Sergeant-Major Ince began to dig his first gallery – by 1911 known as Windsor Gallery – under the watchful eye of Lieutenant Evelegh1782 – A gallery connecting the Queen’s Lines with the King’s Lines was completed
1783 – Four guns were mounted in Windsor Gallery. A few months later he reached “the Notch”
1783 – Colonel Green reported that the entrance to Landport was by a stone bridge and:
. . . was found very improper and obstructed the defences was then during the Siege taken away and must be replaced only with a wooden one upon a low stone base or on a ground sill of timber1783 – Colonel Green was granted the rest of the grounds given to him in 1775.
1783 – The last shot of the Great Siege was fired
1783 – Colonel Green writes in his report that:
. . the town and nine-tenths of the public buildings (were) in a certain degree mostly destroyed by the enemy’s fire and rendered unfit for habitation1784 – According to Garrison Orders:
Information having been given to the Governor that two wild boars were lately shot on the Hill it is his positive orders that no person whatever presume at their peril to shoot on the Hill in future1787 – Clock erected at South Barracks
1787-1791 – With Major-General O’Hara as commander the Queen’s Gate and Road were constructed under the supervision of Captain Haynes who was the Garrison Quartermaster and after whom Haynes’ Cave was probably named1790 – According to Kenyon up to this date Scud Hill did not exist as there was no road there
French map showing Scud Hill area ( 1830's - Piaget et Lailavoix )
1790 – Armoury in south west end of Southport Street may have been built on the graveyard of the original Franciscan Convent – the suggestion being that the Grand stores may have been part of the grounds of the convent
1790 – Prince Edward’s Gate constructed. It was named in honour of the Duke of Kent who was stationed in Gibraltar in 1790-17911790 – Douglas Cave discovered
1790 – Portion of Europa Road from South Bastion Glacis to the Mount was constructed
1790-1791- The Duke of Kent who was stationed in Gibraltar and appointed to command the Queen’s Royal Regiment”1790-1791 – The artillery were commanded by Lieutenant-Colonel A. F. Farringdon
1791 – The Europa Hotel or Hotelde l’Europe was the scene of a grand farewell entertainment given to Prince Edward (afterwards the Duke of Kent) before his departure for Quebec. The Hotel stood on a site occupied in 1911 by the southern end of the Admiralty workmen’s building or New Mole House1796 – Ince received a commission as Ensign in the Royal Garrison Regiment
1797 - Colonel Green sold “Mount Pleasant” to the Admiralty. In 1911, the name Mount Pleasant was applied to a neighbouring house owned by the Eastern Telegraph Company.1797-1811 - The building at Mount Pleasant – now known as “The Mount”- was rebuilt by the Admiralty
The view of the Bay from the Mount ( Unknown )
1798 – Trafalgar Cemetery consecrates according to Garrison Orders
1792-1803 – Windmill Hill Brewery built – the owner was a Mr. Douglas
1793 – Drinkwater founded the Garrison Library
1911 - E. R. Kenyon - A Needle in the Haystack (See LINK)
1911 - E. R. Kenyon - Almost a Directory - 19th and 20th Century (See LINK)
1911 - E. R. Kenyon - Illustrations (See LINK)