General Don and General Eliott - Aaron Cardozo and Colonel Robert Pilkington
Edward Henry Fox and Giovanni Maria Boschetti
Introduction (See LINK)
The Neutral Ground between the two frontiers theoretically began where the map identifies the Spanish limit and continues some yards to the north towards the Spanish town of La Línea de la Concepción. (See LINK)
The “Camp Civil” in what was previously part of the Neutral Ground was the result of an arrangement between the General Alos - the Spanish Governor of the Campo area - and General Don (see LINK) shortly after 1814. Alos had generously allowed the British to set the camp in order to alleviate problems caused by several yellow fever epidemics. When the fevers subsided, the British stayed put. The Spanish interpretation of the Treaty of Utrecht (See LINK) insisted that the entire isthmus belonged to Spain. British Imperial power ensured otherwise. The “cordon sanitaire”, incidentally was waste of time. Yellow fever is not a contagious disease.
The gardens at the bottom of the plan were vegetable allotments looked after by troops quartered in the adjacent hutments until they were transferred to the City Council in 1920. The nearby “Vacherie” was a cesspit in which extraordinarily evil smelling slaughterhouse waste (see LINK) were deposited to the great inconvenience of everybody living in the neighbourhood.
From the top, Section 3 the Devil’s Tower, (see LINK) Rock Gun and a separate camp for the Royal Engineers and miners - the buildings on the bottom left used by hospital staff were part of the Lazaretto complex which continued to be used for quarantine purposes for many decades afterwards.
During the Great Siege (see LINK) Poca Roca cave was set up as sleeping accommodation and as an alternative headquarters for General Eliott. In fact he never used it. Bruce’s Farm (Perez) is an unknown quantity to me.
Bottom left, the old Mole (see LINK) and Waterport Gate (see LINK) - although the actual entrance into town from the Mole is not shown. The entire walled Qasabah area is labelled as the Moorish Castle. (See LINK) Nowadays the name is reserved for the Calahorra or Tower of Homage shown on the plan as a separate building at the top of the complex. The large Gate of Victory (see LINK) used throughout the 19th century as a gun-powder magazine is also shown as part of the old Qasabah wall.
To the left of King’s Bastion and behind the Line Wall is Gibraltar’s main square. In the early 19th century it was known as either the Esplanade, the Almeida (Alameda) or perhaps Auction Square. (See LINK) On the west side of the square stands Aaron Cardozo’s (see LINK) impressive house which was built in 1815, and on the eastern end the Exchange and Commercial Library (See LINK) which was built a year later.
The three gardens shown on the plan are - on the left, those of Engineer House, the residence of the Chief Engineer who at the time the map was published was probably Col Robert Pilkington. The one in the middle is the garden of the Garrison library (see LINK) and the one on the right those of the Convent. (See LINK)
Most of the prominent buildings and sites to the mid-south of Charles V Wall (see LINK) are shown - Prince Edward’s Gate, (see LINK) Southport Gate (see LINK) with the Trafalgar Cemetery on its east side, South Bastion and Ragged Staff. (See LINK) The now completed Alameda Gardens suggest that the plan was made several years after its completion in 1816. Further south, a rather prominent Scud-Hill area, today simply the name of a road, Jumper’s Bastion, (see LINK) the New Mole (see LINK) and its Parade ground and the 18th century South Barracks and two officers’ Pavilions. (See LINK)
The top of the highest peak on the Rock was often referred to as the Sugar Loaf. The building is O’Hara’s Tower. (See LINK) I am not sure what the other building is or was.
Moving further south from Section 6 the plan identifies Rosia Bay, (see LINK) its harbour and its Parade ground, the Naval Hospital and possibly the Mount - the residence of the senior officer of the Royal Navy in Gibraltar - above and to its left. On the right are Europa Pass and the road to Windmill Hill. Buena Vista is identified minus its Barracks which was built in the 1840s. The top section shows Windmill Hill, (See LINK) its barracks and a military camp similar to that in the Isthmus and as shown in Section 1.
This last section shows Europa flats with more military encampments. On the eastern side is Governor’s Cottage which was originally built for General O’Hara around the end of the 18th century. It was rebuilt in 1804-05 on the orders of the Governor Edward Henry Fox by the Gibraltarian architect Giovanni Maria Boschetti (See LINK) - almost certainly as a response to the yellow fever epidemic. General Fox was its first occupant.
Although not labelled the small building just to the left of the old Europa Hospital must be Bleak House (See LINK) built by General Don in 1817 originally as a sanatorium. By 1820 it was used as an officers’ mess. A very similar map produced by Piaget et Laivaloix but with English captions identifies it as a “messhouse” - a useful clue as regards dating.