The People of Gibraltar
2022 - La Torre del Tuerto de Gibraltar

Many people my age will fondly remember Manuel from Fawlty Towers – He knew nothing!.

I must say that blundering from one piece of information to another trying to unravel the history of Gibraltar’s esoteric “torre” – together with its politically incorrect name - has made me end up feeling much like Manuel – I know nothing either . . . and after all that hard work I still don’t know all that much about Gibraltar’s now well and truly extinct, faulty yet memorable tower.

The name of la Torre del Tuerto is often used indiscriminately by historians either to refer specifically to the tower by itself, to the fortress below it, to both of them together or even sometimes to the entire coastal area in which both the tower and the fortress were built, including a new mole that was later constructed in front of the complex. 

Several theories have been offered over the years as to the origins of the name of “el Tuerto”. 

One of least exciting is that it is a corruption of the word “Puerto” - as offered by our very own Alfonso Hernández del Portillo who wrote his Historia de la Muy Noble y Más Leal Ciudad de Gibraltar probably during the late 16th to the early 17th century. Let me quote him.

Unidos a los puertos del monte demás del de la Ciudad hay otro segurísimo y muy capaz en la Torre del Tuerto aunque otros dicen que se ha de decir la Torre del Puerto porque es guarda de este puerto, y a lo que parece no debió se hacerse esta torre para otro efecto sino para este y para guardar jarcias de armadas


Torre del Puero (Puerto) (1634 - Pedro de Teixeira - cropped)

The problem with Portillo’s theory is that the name of the tower appears in historical documents as “Tuerto” well before the appearance of a “Puerto” or mole anywhere near it. 

Ignacio López de Ayala who wrote his own Historia de Gibraltar during the late 18th C - lifting large chunks from Portillo to do so, came up with just that point.

La Torre del Tuerto que algunos llamaban del Puerto si bien prevaleció el nombre primero era otra de la principales fortificaciones de Gibraltar . . .

A counter argument would be that in so far as Castilian is concerned, a “Puerto” does not require a mole in order to qualify as one – any decent cove or beach will do. 

A second theory identifies the one-eyed Tarik ibn Ziyad as the person responsible for the name. That Tarik was indeed “Tuerto” – or one eyed - is confirmed in the late 13th Century Primera Crónica General de España  -  where he is described as having been “tuerto dell un ojo . . .“ although every one of the artist impressions that I have ever come across have all  overlooked his squint. 


Artists’ impressions of Tarik ibn Ziyad – not a squint in sight

It is, however, the theory which seems to strike a chord with many Gibraltarians, presumably because of the association of Tarik with the name of their home town. 

José Beneroso Santos who wrote an article on Tarik -  En Referencia a Tariq ibn Ziyad “el Tuerto” (2017) proves that you don’t have to be a Llanito to agree with this theory.

En este recinto o muralla de los árabes tenía. . . . alguna torre de vigilancia que identificamos con la conocida Torre del Tuerto representada en muchos mapas, grabados y dibujos y que creemos que fue así denominada popularmente en referencia al defecto físico que tenía Tariq ibn Ziyad.

A third suggestion involves another Muslim warrior – and this one requires a much lengthier explanation.

When the Merinid ruler of Morocco Abu l-Hasan decided in 1333 that it was time to retake Gibraltar from the Christians, he sent his favourite son Abu Malik Abd al-Walid to do the job.According to the 14th century Crónica de Alfonso Onceno:

Albohazen (Abu l-Hasan). . . envió u su hijo que decían Abomelique (Abu Malik) que pasó aquel Mar (the Straits) e este Abomelique era tuerto . . .

The one-eyed Abu Malik landed in Algeciras, set about organising what would later be known as the 3rd Siege of Gibraltar and successfully carried out his father’s orders – he took Gibraltar. 

The Merinids, however, soon discovered that the defensive structures of their newly acquired possession were not up to the standards that they were accustomed to and almost immediately set about building an impressive line wall running continuously along the western shore from the Puerta de Mar to just beyond la Punta de Leon or Europa Point. 

There is a mention in the mid-14th century Musnad of Ibn Marzuq, that Abu l-Hasan - to whom Marzuq was an advisor and secretary -  had ordered the construction of two “burj” or towers in Gibraltar. The first was almost certainly a replacement of the old Calahorra – today ‘s Tower of Homage - but the location of the second has not yet been identified. Could the Torre del Tuerto have been that second Castle? If so then it would have been quite possible that this second tower ended up being named after Abu Malik who was possibly better known generally in Iberia – and certainly in nearby Algeciras - than his brother Abu Inan Faris who is invariably credited with the construction of Gibraltar’s eventual Line Wall.

Another Spanish historian, Juan Manuel Ballesta Gómez who wrote an article on Las Fortalezas de Gibraltar . . . (2001)  is in no doubt that this is the correct theory:

El bastión del Tuerto, a veces nombrado del Puerto por corrupción y ubicación, es atribuible al hijo de Abu-I-Hasan apodado El Tuerto. . . .

1333-1462
The origins of the tower referred to as “del Tuerto” is of unknown – not just to me but to just about everybody else. However, a semi-educated guess suggests that it may have originally been constructed during the Marinid or Nasrid Islamic possession of the Rock (1333 to 1462). The origins of the fort below the tower are equally obscure – but again it may have been  built at the same time as the tower.

Perhaps one of the very few supporting bits of evidence for this comes from Portillo’s Historia:

. . . la Torre del Tuerto, la cual como decíamos es de fabrica más antigua que de los moros; aunque unos aposentos que están fuera de la torre y mejor parados con ella parecen Moriscos; a lo menos renovados por los moros. 

. . . Tiene a la puerta que se sube por escaleras una piedra de alabastro con una figura de mancebo que a lo que parece fue ídolo de los Gentiles. No tiene inscripción alguna esta piedra y esta quebrada y por ventura en lo que le falta la tendría. . . 

Lo que parecía ídolo es un escudo con una banda de esquina a esquina que es el blasón y armas.

This last could well be a description of the Nasrid Coat of Arms.

Nasrid coat of arms

Perhaps it is worth noting here that the marginal notes in Portillo’s Historia – which is where my quote above was taken from, were probably written by one of his sons Tomás de Portillo after 1609, the year in which his father died..

1435/39
Whether the above is correct or not the tower and its fortress seem to have remained completely anonymous until 1436/1439 when the general name of el Tuerto appears in Pero Tafur’s book Andanças é Viajes.  


Tafur seems to have actually taken part in the ill-fated attempt by Enrique Pérez de Guzmán, the 2nd Count of Niebla to retake Gibraltar from its Muslim masters in 1436. 

E fallamos al conde de Niebla, que tenía real fasta media legua de Gibraltar . . . E ordenó de poner toda jente de cavallo por la entrada que es por la tierra firme, é él con la gente darmas combatir por cerca de la ataracana, a la parte del monte por do el rey Don Alfonso entró, é su hijo Don Juan combatiese la torre del Tuerto, que es en el monte; esto por la mar; é los viscaynos con sus naos é la galea el Casal de Ginoveses que es en la punta en cabo de todo el monte. 

. . . Y ordenó poner toda la caballería por la entrada que se encuentra en tierra firma mientras el (Niebla) con sus soldados pelearon cerca de la atarazana por esa parte del monte (el Peñón no la montaña) donde entró el Rey Don Alfonso, y su hijo Don Juan (le ordeno) que combatiera contra la Torre del Tuerto que está en el monte (el Peñón) cerca del mar; mientras los vizcaínos con sus barcos y galera (atacarían) el Casal de los Genoveses, que está en la punta de todo el monte (el Peñón).

In other words, this is the oldest reference to the tower as la Torre del Tuerto that I have been able to find.

1462   
After that, a short wait until 1462, when Gibraltar finally returned to Christian hands. From then on we simply get a few mentions of the name in sundry obscure documents and not much else. For example:

1468 
The name appears in a lengthy and largely unreadable document granting the profits of the fisheries in Gibraltar to the order of St John. La Torre del Tuerto is again mentioned but perhaps more usefully it contains information referring to a previous donation that I had nor come across before. 

Manuel Álvarez Vásquez – Donación de las pesquerías
Anexo Documental: 1468 enero 12. 
Donación de las pesquerías de Gibraltar al comendador fray Diego Bernal y a la Orden de San Juan de Jerusalén por Enrique do Guzmán,

. . . el dicho señor duque por servicio de Dios e del dicho señor San Juan, ovo dado e señalado una mezquita que en la dicha cibdad estava cerca de la torre que dizen del tuerto para que fuese casa e iglesia de la orden de san Juan de Jherusalem . . .

San Juan el Verde – as it was known locally – 1627 - Luis Bravo de Acuña

That San Juan el Verde was once a mosque is by no means common knowledge. In fact I have not come across this in any of the numerous articles that I have read about the numerous churches that existed in Gibraltar prior to 1704.

1469
A year later another mega-yawn. According to Ayala in a section on Documentos Ineditos in his Historia, the name of the tower appears in a letter from Enrique IV of Castile to the Duke of Medina Sidonia. It specifies the salaries of the sundry alcaides in Gibraltar and mentions the tower.

Estaban pues asignados al alcaide para el sueldo de veinte caballos , a cuyo cuidado estaba la guarda  del Castillo, de las puertas de tierra  . . . de la torre del Tuerto, i de los dos Atarfes o Tarfes

1502
Perhaps even more obscure is the following. Ayala is again being the source.

 (Documentos Ineditos IX - Entrega . . . a Garcilaso de la Vega inventario de lo que  allí tenían los duques de Medina.) En la torre del Tuerto dos pasavolantes . . . 

1533
According to Edward Cooper in his Castillos señoriales:

 . . . Benedetto Scaramuza (Micer Benedetto), Ingeniero de sus majestades quien prepara de 1533 a 1535 presupuestos para la fortificación de Salas la Nueva, las fortalezas de Perpiñán, Colibre, Belaguarda, San Sebastian, Behobia, Pamplona, Estella, Cadíz, Gibraltar y Cartagena y el derribo de Salsas la Vieja . . .

One really wonders where the hell he found the time to do all this.

1535
Ángel J. Sáez Rodríguez’s in his La Montaña Inexpugnable gives us a date for what appears to be a first attempt to improve the defensive capabilities of both the Tower and its fort.

. . .  Micer Benedetto reclamó su fortificación (la de la Torre) hacia 1535  con objeto de dotarla de artillería con construir allí un baluarte defensivo . . . El ingeniero italiano (Benedetto) proyectó, junto a Álvaro de Bazán, otras tres torres . . . (only one was finished) . . . se construyó el Fuerte de la Torre del Tuerto . . .


All of which is backed by Edward Cooper in his Castillos Señoriales - if somewhat unbelievingly:

En 1538 logra estar en dos sitios simultáneamente. Según una fuente se hallaba todavía en la capital rosellonense . . . pero consta también que se había trasladado de Perpiñán a Gibraltar en enero . . .

1538
Sáez develops the theme more straight-forwardly in his book – Las Defensas de Gibraltar:

Don Álvaro de Bazán, Alcaide interino de Gibraltar y Micer Benedetto de Rávena, ingeniero militar, propusieron en 1538 que las obras de fortificación comenzasen precisamente por el fuerte de la Torre. La torre había sido reconstruida al finalizar el siglo XVI dentro del conjunto acometidas por El Frattino. 

Neither of the dates given, 1535 and 1538 appear to be likely as it would seem much more reasonable to suppose that Benedetto would have been sent Gibraltar after the 1540 Turkish raid in order to suggest the defensive improvements required to avoid a repeat performance. 

1540
This is the year when the notorious "Turkish" raid took place which both Portillo’s in his  Historia and Barrantes Maldonado in Dialogo, describe in great detail. The ease with which the Turkish raiders were able to enter the town after landing in la Caleta del Laudero just south of la Caleta de San Juan and the Torre del Tuerto must have led to much soul searching as regards Gibraltar’s defences by the relevant military and Royal authorities – and in particular its southern ones which of course included the Torre del Tuerto.


In fact according to Aparici in his Memorial de Ingenieros:

. . . en setiembre de 1540 le fue preciso (a Benedetto) marchar al indicado punto a reparar los destrozos. Así lo dice al Emperador en carta  de 14 de diciembre, manifestándole haber formado su pensamiento de acuerdo con el acreditado marino Don Álvaro de Bazán y detallándosele, aunque en resumen. 

Whatever  the actual date of Benedetto’s possible interventions, more or less two centuries would have passed since the presumed Islamic building of the Torre del Tuerto and its fortress. Plans or sketches of what the tower would have looked like before and after his improvements are, as far as I can make out – non-existent. I don’t even know whether they were actually ever put into practice.

1540 
Barrantes Maldonado’s description of the raid in his Dialogo includes one of the tower:

 “. . . la torre del Tuerto, que es un castillo, por sí, asentado en una punta que hace la tierra en la mar, donde suele haber un alcaide; y tiene cuatro piezas de artillería, con que pueden hacer mucho daño á las velas que entraren en la bahía, y es la guarda de aquel puerto. . .” 

Benedetto is again mentioned by Aparici in his Memorial de Ingenieros:

. . . en setiembre de 1540 le fue preciso (a Benedetto) marchar al indicado punto a reparar los destrozos. Así lo dice al Emperador en carta  de 14 de diciembre, manifestándole haber formado su pensamiento de acuerdo con el acreditado marino Don Álvaro de Bazán y detallándosele, aunque en resumen. 

1541
Also according to Edward Cooper:

El otro teniente de Málaga fue el yerno de Benedetto. Francisco Rojas. García Carreño fue integrante del equipo presidido por Benedetto que se reunió en Gibraltar el año siguiente (1541) para determinar la mejor forma de fortificar el Peñón.

1567
The Torre del Tuerto  appears on four well-known sketches by Anton Van den Wyngaerde.They are among the oldest representations I can find of the Rock.

Theoretically this is what the tower itself would have looked like after Micer Benedetto had worked on it nearly 30 years previously – that is if he ever did.

It is also difficult to decide whether the structures that appear on the last sketch are meant to represent the fort. yet if Miser Benedetto did built or repair one at la Torre del Tuerto as suggested previously it should have appeared on Wyngaerde’s sketches. 

The New Mole does not appear on any of the sketches – which is as expected. They didn’t start building it until the early 17th century.

1596 
La Torre del Tuerto is mentioned yet again in Portillo’s Historia:

Tiene . . .  la torre . . . una plaza que tuvo siempre artillería hasta el año 1596 que la Ciudad . . .  le pareció convenir   . . . ponerla en el baluarte del Rosario, donde esta. 

From a military perspective, I have a feeling that the tower itself had been losing its importance rather than gaining it over the previous half century. And then not surprisingly and out of the blue, a change of focus. Concentrate on the fort and build a decent mole in front of the fortress of the Torre del Tuerto.

1596
In 1880 Eduardo de Mariátegui wrote Cristóbal de Rojas: Ingeniero Militar del siglo XVI  which must surely be the definitive biography of the eponymous engineer. 

Cristóbal de Rojas (Published 1598)

The comings and goings of this gentleman and his undoubtedly important contributions to the story of la Torre del Tuerto are far to lengthy to go into here. Suffice to say that the beginning of his involvement began here:

. . . con fecha 27 de Noviembre, por la cual se le ordenaba pasar á Sevilla á recibir órdenes del célebre marino D. Luis Fajardo acerca de los sitios, partes y puertos que se habían de reconocer y fortificaciones que se hubieren de construir, y una vez hecho esto . . . pasase á Gibraltar y reconociera muy particularmente su situación y las obras defensivas que dejaron trazadas el Capitán Fratin y Bautista  Antonelli . . . 

1598 
Alicia Cámera, in Fortificaciónes adds an interesting aside on what the authorities were looking for when hiring the people who would ultimately be responsible for putting all these theoretical improvements into practice.  

En Gibraltar a fines del siglo XVI en 1598 lo único que se pedía era que los trabajadores tuvieran salud y los dieciocho años cumplidos, debían trabajar desde la salida hasta la puesta del sol, desde finales de abril hasta finales de agosto, debían “almorzar a las siete, comer a las once, y volver a trabajar desde la una hasta puesta del sol y la tarde se les dará media hora para merendar.“ El resto del año almorzarían a las ocho, comerían a las doce, y volverían al trabajo desde la una hasta la puesta del sol.

1607


The Battle of Gibraltar - with an unconvincing yet pentagonally roofed Torre del Tuerto (c1617 - Adam Willaerts  – cropped)
1607
The Battle of Gibraltar took place in the Bay, close to the town and the Torre del Tuerto area. The result was a serious defeat in home waters by a Dutch squadron. If the Turkish raid had raised awareness as to the need for a general review of the ability of the Rock to defend itself, this debacle exposed the continuing general weaknesses of its defences and in particular the lack of a second mole near la Torre del Tuerto and its fortress.

1608 
Shaken by their defeat in the Battle of Gibraltar, meetings, discussions and letters  between those involved in deciding what exactly should be done increased exponentially. However, although things may have progressing on the theoretical side very little seems to have been put into practice.

According to Mariátegui:

Llegaron a Gibraltar D. Luis Fajardo y el Capitán Rojas . . . y sondearon todo lo que fuera el puerto  . . .y . . . un sitio que llaman la Torre del Tuerto . . . y todos les pareció estaría allí el dicho muelle bien. . . y de la plataforma capaz de diez piezas de 10 que debió de hacer a principio de él y el baluartillo de la cabeza del dicho muelle, capaz de cuatro piezas . . .     

Ya pudo el Duque (de Medina Sidonia) escribir a S.M. indicándole la conveniencia de construir otro muelle en la bahía de Gibraltar en la punta del Tuerto . . . Ordenó el Duque de Medina Sidonia á Cristóbal de Rojas, pasase otra vez á Gibraltar acompañado del maestro mayor de Cádiz Alonso de Valdelvira y de Luis de Taren, aparejador que había sido en la fábrica del muelle de Málaga, á reveer el muelle que se quería hacer en el sitio y puerto de la cala de la Torre del Tuerto. . . 

Ángel Laso Ballesteros in his article on the engineer Jerónimo de Soto:

 . . . al acabársele el dinero regresa (de Soto) a Madrid. Aquí asesoró al Consejo, así dio a don Juan de Mendoza, marqués de San Germán y capitán general de artillería, su parecer sobre las trazas del muelle de Gibraltar hechas por Rojas a fines de 1608.

1609
The outcome of meetings in Madrid between Medina Sidonia and Luis Fajardo on the one hand and the Captain General of the Artillery, the Marquis of San German y de la Hinojosa and his advisors on matters of engineering, Battista Antonelli and Jerónimo de Soto on the other, was not exactly an overwhelming vote of confidence for Rojas proposals which had previously been elegantly presented to the authorities in the form of a plan of the Bay of Gibraltar.

The Bay of Gibraltar  (1608 – Cristobal de Rojas)

To quote Mariátegui again:

. . según el cual, aunque cree (el Marqués) muy acertado . . . el proyecto . . . y el sitio de la torre del Tuerto muy á propósito . . . opina debe estudiarse antes . . . si limpiando el puerto de las piedras . . . del muelle viejo . . . y haciendo un contramuelle  . . . se podrá impedir que la arena é inmundicias cieguen la caldera del puerto . . . y en caso de que esto no sea posible, se prolongue el muelle de la Torre del Tuerto veinte brazas más, de manera que haga un recodo para abrigo de los barcos que estuvieran en el puerto. 

Which indirectly seems to confirm that work on the mole had actually started by 1609. Hardly likely as nobady had as yet authorised anybody to start buil;ding anything. Also, there were further conditions that needed to be taken into account.

En esto caso es el Marqués de parecer que en lugar de la plataforma que viene dibujada en el sitio de la dicha Torre del Tuerto, so haga un castillo do cuatro baluartes, que sea de muy buena fortificación, para que si la artillería que allí se recogiere fuere menor que la enemiga, tenga quien la ampare y defienda; además el baluarte del Rosario cree debe artillarse con piezas de mucho alcance, y prohibir la fabricación de casas, que no sean de tablas, entre él y la Torre del Tuerto. Y finalmente, que para más fundamento y mejor acuerdo, vaya luego Battista Antonelli y Jerónimo de Soto a reconocer todo, pues el presupuesto de Rojas le parece corto . .

Cámara in Fortificación, perceptively notes that Rojas plan takes into account not just the town of Gibraltar but the entire immediate neighbourhood, in this case the Bay of Gibraltar.

Por otro lado . . . Rojas había hecho la planta de la bahía de la ciudad, por lo que no era la ciudad, sino todo una bahía la que estaba defendiendo con esas fortificaciones. La fortificación de una ciudad solo se concebía pues, dentro de una visión global del territorio, ya que de fronteras territoriales y no urbanas se trataba aa en este siglo XVI.

The captions that appears at the sea end of the Old Mole and on the white sands of the isthmus of the plan by Rojas shown above are also worthy of comment. They read as follows:

Muelle Viejo - Del muelle para dentro no hay más que tres brazas de fondo . . . 
Arenas – Esta arena la mete el levante en el puerto y lo ciega”

Rojas, according to Sáez in Montaña, was explaining why the Old Mole was not fit for purpose and offerred his own opinion in that Rojas argument was also valid for the as yet “moleless” Torre del Tuerto cove.

Por tal motive ya existía al pie de la Torre del Tuerto en la parte sur del Peñón un espigón que después sería conocido como Muelle Nuevo.

 I am not sure where Sáez got this from. Wyngaerde certainly shows a large breakwater by the Old Mole – although curiously not where the Old Mole would eventually be built. But he does not show anything similar near the Torre del Tuerto area. In any case if such a thing as a breakwater had existed at the time, it would eventually have been replaced by a Mole as against becoming one.

Left, Old Mole breakwater – Right, No breakwater in front of la Torre del Tuerto (1567 – Wyngaerde – Cropped and adapted)

1610 
Two VIPs’ visited Gibraltar. According to Sáez.

En 1610 giraron visita a estas fortificaciones (Santiago and Rosario) el Marques de San German y Bautista Antonelli.

The main problem was with the Baluarte de Santiago – now known as Flat Bastion - but which originally was anything but flat. No mention of them having visited the Torre de Tuerto area to see how work was progressing which suggests that nothing much had been done as yet.

1610 
A death no doubt lamented but with curious consequences – as mentioned by Lázaro Bruña y Quintana Álvarez:

. . . el jurado don Alonso Hernández del Portillo, en cuya biografía no nos detendremos aunque sí apuntaremos la fecha probable de su nacimiento alrededor de 1548 y la de su muerte con anterioridad al 2 de enero de 1610 . . . 

1610/1626
Álvarez also reveals that the marginal notes and other entries in Portillo’s Historia were written by one of his sons, Tomás de Portillo, almost certainly post 1609 and after his father’s death. This incidentally was welcome news to me and possibly to many others – including professional historians, who have often noticed that Portillo’s Historia included events that would have occurred in the mid-1620s.

Tomás de Portillo fue uno de los muchos hijos de don Alonso Hernández del Portillo y doña Beatriz Alonso Bernal, bautizado el 21 de mayo de 1576 (Tomás died c1643) . . . Don Tomás de Portillo es el autor de las adiciones a la Historia de Gibraltar de Alonso Hernández del Portillo. Las del libro VII pueden fecharse sin dificultad por su relación directa con la correspondencia con Vázquez Siruela y Antolínez de Burgos en el año 1626 . . . 

1614 
Four years later another dose of unwanted bad news  - Mariátegui:

 . . . salió Rojas para Cádiz, á donde llegó en tan mal estado, que falleció á la hora de estar en su casa . . . 

It is at this point that the story of Torre del Tuerto becomes awkward and difficult to follow. Let me start with a quote from Pérez de Escolano’s book on Juan de Oviedo, a multi-talented sculptor, architect and engineer from Seville. 

By 1614 it had become increasingly obvious that the costs of improving the fort and tower of el Tuerto and the continued construction of a new mole would make a considerable hole in Spain’s overall military budget.

A la hora de proveer de arbitrios para su financiación, el Consejo de Guerra de noviembre de 1614 entró en disputas sobre ella, y por ella sobre su conveniencia, continuándose las discusiones en los dos años siguientes. En octubre de 1616 Su Majestad resolvió que una comisión de ingenieros fuese a Gibraltar e hiciese una relación "y designio de todo". Esa comisión algunos de sus componentes fundamentales (Juan de Médicis, Jerónimo de Soto) fue Ia misma que siguió sucesivamente el recorrido Sevilla, Gibraltar, Cádiz y Málaga, y ya dijimos que la hipótesis de la presencia de Oviedo en el séquito . . .

Si sabemos documentalmente que finalmente las obras se adjudicaron en 1617 . . . y en cinco años de acuerdo con una nueva traza del Ingeniero Arquitecto Mayor y Superintendente de las fábricas y fortificaciones del reino de Nápoles, Julio César Fontana, al que se encomendó  
“dar principio, y asistir a la traza del muelle de Gibraltar hasta encaminarla, y a las demás fábricas que allá se han trazado.” 
Después, no sabemos en qué momento quedaría Juan de Oviedo como encargado de la fábrica del muelle de Gibraltar. 

1616
Ángel Laso Ballesteros, writing about Jeronimo de Soto picks up the story.

En octubre de ese año el duque de Lerma le mandó a él junto a Julio César Fontana que fuese a Gibraltar a reconocer su bahía, muelle y torre. Antes de partir pide que su hijo le acompañe y reciba una ayuda de costa.

The passage is ambiguous in that Fontana and de Soto were asked to review Gibraltar’s “muelle y torre” and la Torre del Tuerto and the New Mole were not the only towers and moles in Gibraltar at the time. 

1617
Sáez in his Montaña fails to mention who was in charge of initiating the construction work on the mole:

Antes de llegar a la caleta de San Juan . . .se situaba el cabo más prominente de la costa gibraltareña       , excepción hecha de Puntas Europa. En ella se localizaba la Torre del Tuerto de forma pentagonal. En este lugar comenzaría en 1617 la construcción del Muelle Nuevo.


King's warrant ordering the construction of a mole in the port of Gibraltar and that it be finished  (29th of March 1617)

Victor Pérez Escolano in his thesis on Juan de Oviedo is quite clear on both the date in which the work started and the name of the man in charge.

Los trabajos se iniciaron por fin, en  mayo de 1617. En la ausencias de Julio Cesar Fontana era el ingeniero Andrés Castoria quien dirigía las obras.

However,  I am not entirely sure whether improvements for the actual tower and its fortress were included in the overall plans or whether what they were building was still based on Rojas original plans. The most likely scenario is that they were but perhaps with adjustments suggested for varying reasons by those who happened to be in charge during it lengthy build. 

There is also the question of whether any of those additional options suggested by the Captain General of the Artillery in 1609 formed part of the construction plans. My feeling is that they were not.

Alicia Cámara in her essay, The Courtier Engineer is – understandably in my opinion - not at all clear as to as to which of the two moles she is referring to when responsibility for the construction or repairs to just about the entire complex of fortifications was apparently given to the engineer Julio César Fontana in 1617.

Se trataba de hacer nuevo muelle, junto al viejo (?), sacándolo más afuera todo esto siguieron los informes de Bautista Antonelli (1609) y Juan de Médicis (1616), hasta llegar a la aceptación de Julio César Fontana de hacerse cargo de la fábrica del muelle en 1617, ocupándose este ingeniero no sólo de las obras hidráulicas, sino también de las de fortificación de Gibraltar.

Por otra parte, el puerto de Gibraltar fue uno de los más cuidados, y sabemos de la traza de Fratin, la visita de Spannocchi en 1605, la de Bautista Antonelli en 1609, que hizo una “perspectiva” del muelle, y la responsabilidad en él de Giulio Cesar Fontana desde 1617. . .

If “el Puerto de Gibraltar” refers to the Old Mole then this second paragraph seems to confirm that even as late as 1617 work on the New one had hardly started.

What the damaged Old Mole looked like (1608 – Cristóbal de Rojas)

Perspetiba del Muelle de Gibraltar”. . . What the Old Mole would look like after repairs 
(1609 – Giovanni Battista Antonelli)

Cámara’s further comments about Fontana in another essay which was translated into English confirms that his connections with Gibraltar as an engineer were very much a policy of look and see and let somebody else get on with it. After all, no matter how good you were at your job it was impossible to be in three places at once. Cámara writes:

Giulio Cesare Fontana might have been another engineer with courtier aspirations, although no study has yet been forthcoming about his time in the court . . . When he returned to Spain in 1616 . . . he did so with all the fame of an engineer who had triumphed in Naples. Philip III entrusted him with works at Gibraltar, Cadiz and the dock at Málaga.

1619 
But perhaps not according to Portillo. In a marginal note in his Historia almost certainly added by Tomás Portillo, work on the site only began two year later: 

. . . y otro muelle que en la Torre del Tuerto se comenzó a hacer año de 1519 (1919?)  y se va prosiguiendo y está hoy en catorce brazas . . .

1620 
The confusing and relatively uninformative comments quoted above are then surprisingly trumped by the following passage which also appears in Portillo’s Historia, again added by Tomás:

Esta Torre (del Tuerto) se ha renovado por el año 1620 y se ha hecho un castillo famoso y al pie de el por una parte un gran muelle, y por otra una plaza y fábricas. Tiene buenos aposentos la torre y una plaza que tuvo siempre artillería hasta el año 1596 que la Ciudad por ciertos respetos que le pareció convenir, la mando recoger dentro, y ponerla en el baluarte del Rosario, donde esta; velase también esta torre con campana como la del castillo dicha la Calahorra.  

That same year, according to Pérez Escolano:

. . . sabemos que cuando en 1620 Juan de Oviedo fue llamado a Cádiz, estaba en ese momento encargado de la fábrica del muelle de Gibraltar. Su papel sería el de maestro supervisor de la fábrica en ese momento, cometido que no era incompatible con la presencia de un ingeniero, como ya vimos más arriba en el presupuesto previsto para este muelle conforme lo proyectado por Cristóbal de Rojas.

Which partially answers my previous question. Cristóbal de Rojas proposals were indeed being used to build the mole . Whether the same might be true of Rojas suggestions for the fort and tower is another story. 

1621-1622
Gibraltar’s New Mole was now not just a matter of local pride. It had suddenly and surprisingly become international news. George Hills in his Rock of Contention writes:

There was a new mole being built . . . for the time it was quite a feat of engineering. . . to protect the new mole there was a gun platform, San Francisco and  . .   a fort of some size and strength, a new Torre del Tuerto. . . 

The next year in 1622 England heard from her ambassador -:

The peer or safe harbour is now so far perfected and there is ordinance planted and a garrison appointed . . . under the command of Don Juan Fajardo . . . 

Meanwhile Admiral Fadrique de Toledo was avenging the Spanish defeat of 1607 at the hands of the Dutch by wiping out a large joint squadron of Dutch/Danish ships.

Admiral Fadrique de Toledo

1622 
Whether Fontana was still the man in charge of all these improvements is hard to tell but documents found by José Aparici y García in the Colección de documentos copiados en el Archivo de Simancas dated 1847 includes a record of a payment to Fontana which confirms at the very least his involvement in the work on the New Mole.

Fontana Julio Cesar, Capitán. Merced de 40 escudos de entretenimiento en el muelle de Gibraltar, 1622 – Libro 25, folio 351

The plan below which is signed by him may have been part of what he was paid for.

(c1622 - Julio César Fontana)

The plan depicts the New Mole as actually longer than the Old. Its division into dark and light areas suggest that this was part of a proposal to increase its length. It is also curious that Fontana, just as Rojas had done before him, drew his plan within the wider context of the surrounding area, in this case including not just the Bay but the Straits and the opposite African shores.

1624
A couple of years later yet another engineer was sent to Gibraltar. His name was Luis Bravo de Acuña. Among his many maps and plans of the place was one that was very similar to Fontana’s.

(1624-27 -  Luis Bravo de Acuña)

1624
As they say, nothing succeeds like success – even the king – PhilipIV - appears to have been impressed with what was going on in Gibraltar at the time. He decided to pay it a visit. Jacinto de Herrera y Sotomayor tells us all about it in his contemporary pamphlet Iornada que su Magestad hizo a la Andaluzia

Jueves a 28 fue su Mag. a comer a Gibraltar 5 leguas de Tarifa . . .    
Viernes a 29 se estuvo su Magestad en Gibraltar, advirtiéndo lo necesario para aquel muelle y fortaleza. . . . Sábado a 30 fue su Magestad a comer seis leguas de Gibraltar a Estepona.

George Hills in his Rock of Contention puts it more succinctly – “Philip IV stayed only one day in Gibraltar” . But I suspect he missed an important point. It wasn’t just the New Mole that his Majesty was pleased with. Whatever they had done to the fortress was almost certainly just as important.

This visit incidentally, gave rise to an episode which has been since been retold ad infinitum by just about every historian professional or otherwise. The following is from Lopez de Ayala. I can’t find anybody having written about this before him.

Salió á recibirle el gobernador con la ciudad , i llegando á entrar el rei en su carroza , no fue posible poderla introducir por las muchas i angostas revueltas que había contra la peña para mayor defensa de la entrada. 

Fue necesario deshacer la carroza i que el rei entrase á pie. El Conde-duque , famoso por su valimiento , i más famoso por las graves pérdidas que padeció España en el tiempo de su ministerio, se irritó contra el gobernador , i le hizo cargo de que sabiendo que el reí habla de entrar en Gibraltar en carroza, debió haber dado capacidad á la puerta. A la dura reprehensión del duque respondió con pausa el gobernador que la puerta no se había hecho para que entrasen carrozas , sino para que no entrasen enemigos. 

The “Count-Duke” aka Gaspar de Guzmán y Pimentel Ribera y Velasco de Tovar, Count-Duke of Olivares (Diego Velasquez)

Many authors have blamed Bravo for having designed the awkwardly shaped entrance.  According to George Hills in his Rock Bravo had not yet redesigned the Puerta de Tierra - which he renamed Puerta de Espana actually agreed with Olivares if for a differnt reason..

As Bravo sent off his report to the Count-Duke (in 1627), work was not quite complete on the major new defence work of the north end . . . nor was the new Spain Gate,. . .vasse fabricando la puerta principal , la qual puente, fosso y muralla son obras realles . . . Thus the narrow entrance, which inconvenienced Phillip IV was being replaced, not because he might yet again be inconvenienced – the King’s complaint was fully justified in terms of seventeenth century military developments. Admittedly, the narrower a gate the more difficult for an enemy to enter through it – but also the greater the impediment  to cavalry or infantry sallying in counter attack. . . . 

Plan of the northern defences – Yellow denotes structures that have already been constructed (1627 – Bravo de Acuña)

As can clearly be seen on the plan above the inner second arch of la Puerta de España  is coloured yellow which identifies it as newly built. It has been constructed at an angle to the first arch making it if anything more awkward for a carriage to enter or leave. Perhaps it would be best to leave all this as a good example of  Se non è vero è ben trovato . . . 

Incidentally - and more to the point, according to Ayala, Philip IV found time to visit the Torre del Tuerto area to check how things were going.

La corte se detuvo en Gibraltar un día, que fue a los fines de Marzo de aquel año , en que vio el muelle i fortaleza i dio órdenes para adelantarla i guarnecerla.  

Philip IV of Spain, a year before he visited Gibraltar (1623 – Diego Velasquez)

1625 
Despite all the hard work being invested in the southern part of the Rock’s defences, not everything was smelling of roses elsewhere. The Engineer Andrés Castoria had warned as early as 1625 of how easy it would be for an enemy to take Gibraltar given the weakness of its defences – such as would happen in 1704. 

As Sáez reminds us in his Montaña:

 Ya el ingeniero Andrés Castoria lo había pronosticado en 1625:

"Podría ser que el enemigo desembarcase su gente en la misma Bahía, tan distante que la artillería de la ciudad no les estorbara, y podrán marchar de noche y tomar el mar angosto de los arenales cerca de la ciudad, y allí atrincherarse guardando la campaña y a la otra parte de la ciudad, en modo de asedio, e impedir que por tierra no entre socorro de gente y bastimentos, y los navíos guardarán la mar".

1627
After perhaps more than three years of hard work, Bravo produced his final and exhaustive report on Gibraltar’s fortifications. According to George Hills in The Rock:

. . . the most valuable document of all on the subject (Gibraltar’s defences) was Luis Bravo’s “Gibraltar fortificada por mandato del Rey, Nro Sor D. Phelippe IIIIo  sent to the Count-Duke of Olivares on 30th September 1627 

Bravo drew the most detailed maps of the fortifications, as they existed on the date of his report using three colours - yellow to mark new (1624 to 1627) works, red to mark repaired, rebuilt or reinforced, and  grey old.” (p121).

The front page of Luis Bravo de Acuña’s’ report (1627)

I think that I have now managed to collect digital copies of just about every one of the plans and maps Bravo included in his report.  What I have not been able to get my hands on is a full copy of the written report that formed part of his proposals and explained his maps and proposals. The cover of the report, incidentally, is a nice example of 17th century brown-nosing. The coat of arms that Bravo drew on it as shown above, is that of his boss, the Count-Duque of Olivares, Gaspar de Guzman.

Included in Bravo’s Gibraltar fortificada, were his recommendations for the Torre del Tuerto which were set out in four sketches - two of them showing the entire Tuerto complex as he found it in 1627 and another two with his proposals. 

Tower and fortress as Bravo found them in 1627 – The base of pentagonal tower shown outlined in first sketch (Bravo - 1627)


Proposed changes for the Torre del Tuerto fortress – The base of pentagonal tower is shown outlined in first sketch ( Bravo - 1627) 

Perhaps worth yet another comparison – that between the Torre and its fort according to Rojas' proposals in 1608, and how Bravo found it in 1627. 

Left, as proposed by Rojas in 1608, Right as inherited by Bravo in 1627

They certainly do not look very similar, Bravo’s version of the tower being much taller than that of Rojas. However an analysis by my good friend and fellow enthusiast, Rafael Fernández, suggests that the differences may not be as great as might seem at first sight.

An interpretation of Cristóbal Rojas’ sketch of the southern fortress and its tower by Rafael Fernández

a  Torre = Torre del Tuerto
The tower is probably viewed from behind the front section of the fortress – in other words we are only seeing perhaps less than half of it. In any case it would seem unlikely that a belfry would be at the bottom of the tower rather than somewhere near the top.
b  Espadaña con campana = Belfry with bell, 
The bell itself is mentioned by Portillo: 

 . . . velase también esta torre (del Tuerto) con campana como la del castillo dicha la Calahorra.  

c Plataforma = Battery  

d Disparos de cañón = Cannon fire  
These correspond with the three gun windows that appear in Bravo’s plan of the fortress as he originally found it. 

e The New Mole

1627 
Escolano in his thesis on Juan Oviedo quotes Bravo’s scathing comments in what must surely have been the engineer’s covering notes on what he thought of the fortress and mole of la Torre del Tuerto as he found it and as shown in the sketches above.

La opinión de Bravo de Acuña sobre el muelle Nuevo existente es de que " no se ha fabricado para la seguridad y abrigo de armadas poderosas" Y más adelante, “para la seguridad de este Muelle es menester un fuerte que lo sea, capaz de artillería y gente, y el que tiene no es sino muy flaco, pues la cortina que hace frente al puerto está sin traveses y ocupa terreno que es tan necesario para el servicio de los Bajeles que asisten en él, como parece por la planta y alzado. . ."  

Hills also quotes from Bravo’s Gibraltar fortificada and offers the following opinion:

In so far as the least fanciful of the prints of the eighteenth century may be trusted, it would appear that Bravo’s proposals for the Tuerto Fort were never realised.

Personally, I am not at all sure that I understand Hills’ reasoning. The second sentence of the quote above does not follow logically from the first. Nevertheless he was of also of the opinion that:

 . . . In the 33 months that followed his (Philip IV) visit (1624) Gibraltar was made perhaps the strongest point in the coast of Spain.

On that I cannot really say whether Hills is correct or not but it would not surprise me if he was.


1658/1662
The New  Mole - but not la Torre del Tuerto or its fortress -  is mentioned again in Gerónimo de la Concepción's rather extravagantly titled Emporio de el Orbe, Cadiz Illustrada which was published in 1690.

D. Francisco Davila Orejon Gaston Maesse de Campo, fue nombrado por Gobernador de esta Plaza (Gibraltar) año de 1658 y entró a servirla en 12 de febrero de dicho año. Donde estuvo en propiedad hasta 5. De Julio de 1662 y tuvo la Superintendencia de el nuevo Muelle.


1664
The following is taken from an internet article in the Real Academia de la Historia in which the author acknowledges that that the source of what he has written came from the Instituto de Historia y Cultura Militar, Colección Aparici.

Apparently, Octavio Menni having proved himself a competent engineer during the Portuguese Restauration War, was recommended by the Duke of Medinaceli to Philip IV of Spain who promptly sent him to Gibraltar. He arrived in 1664 and was appointed: 

. . . Ingeniero a las fortificaciones de Gibraltar y pretendía que el Consejo aprobara la creación de una Compañía de Caballos en la plaza”. . . 

For several years he was involved in other work elsewhere but always on the understanding that he would visit Gibraltar periodically to check up on how work was progressing – or otherwise - on his various proposals, one of which appears to have been on improvements to fort of la Torre del Tuerto.

Octavio Menni 

1665
Local historian Tito Benady in his Puerto suggests that:

(El Muelle Nuevo) no se terminó de construir  hasta el año 1665, con su máxima extensión de 110 metros

I am not entirely sure as to where he got this information although he may have interpreted it from a confusing passage in Ayala's Historia.

El muelle nuevo quo mandó hacer Felipe IV es prueba de las muchas embarcaciones que concurrían , i  se  ensanchó  la  ciudad.  E n   12  de  Febrero de  1658  obtuvo  el  gobierno  de  ella el  maese de  campo D.  Francisco  Dávila  Orejón. . . lo  ejerció  hasta  5  de  Julio de  1662 . . . Tuvo también  la  superintendencia  de la  obra del muelle que  se  prosiguió algunos  años después en  que  gobernaron  Don  Luis  Ferrer  i  su  sucesor  Don  Juan de  Zúñiga.  El último murió en Gibraltar a 14 de Setiembre de 1665

Reluctantly I have to admit that I cannot understand the relationship between the death of Zúñiga in 1665 and the possible completion of the mole. Nor can I find any mention of its final length anywhere.

Ayala incidentally was nevertheless of the opinion that whatever the date of its completion, the building of the new mole had brought a certain prosperity to the town.

El aumento que tomó por aquellos tiempos el convento do la Merced , la costosa obra que se hizo del muelle nuevo . . . nos dan fundamento para creer que creció la ciudad en riquezas i vecindario.

1669
Octavio Menni’s last intervention in Gibraltar appears to have been the publication of a plan of the Rock in which he details work carried out on its fortifications.

(Octavio Menni – 1669)

Following in Bravo’s footsteps Menni colour-coded his plan as follows:

Para mayor inteligencia se advierte que lo colorado es lo que se ha hecho de nuevo y perfeccionado asta oy , el azul es lo que queda por acabar, y lo amarillo es lo que no se ha empezado aun por menos necesario. Y el oro es lo que se ha restaurado y perfeccionado.

After a plethora of proposals by heaven knows how many engineers, the work of many unknown masons, anonymous harbour workers and others, it would appear that the mole that could now just barely qualify as “Nuevo”, may have finally reached its required length and could together with its fortress, be considered as more or less the finished article. Tellingly, Menni does not suggest any changes to the “old” pentagonal Tower, or any improvements or lengthening as regards the Muelle Nuevo. Indeed, Menni’s proposals for the complex of la Torre del Tuerto, on his final map of Gibraltar appear to be limited to more or less minor alterations concerning new entrances and the rebuilding of a few walls. However . . . 

1671/1672
Documents included in the Aparici Collection include the following two entries:

Giner, Rafael - Pagador de la gente de Guerra, la fábrica del nuevo muelle y del presidio de Gibraltar 1671. Libro 55, folio 449

Carrera y Acuña, Juan de la – Maestre de Campo. Nombrado Corregidor de la ciudad de Gibraltar y su Gobernador, así como Superintendente de la fábrica del muelle, 1672. Libro 59, folio 64.

If “fábrica del muelle” refers to work being done on the mole, then in 1672 was still unfinished.

1693 
According to multiple sources, some 20 odd years after these improvements were carried out by Menni, the fort, tower and new mole were put to the test. Spain was at war with France when part of a convoy of merchant men with four attending British warships took shelter by the New Mole. They were being pursued by a large French squadron under the command of the French admiral Alain Emmanuel de Coëtlogon, a man who is touted as never having lost a battle at sea. La Torre del Tuerto despite its improvements proved incapable of defending the sheltering ships. It did not have enough guns to do so.

The Expedition of Vice Admiral M. de Coëtlogon – The artist has mistakenly placed the action close to the Old Mole rather than the new one (1840 - Théodore Gudin)

1704
According to sources too many to mention, la Torre del Tuerto was destroyed when it was involved in an attack by Anglo-Dutch forces during the War of the Spanish Succession. 


The Taking of Gibraltar by Anglo-Dutch forces (1704 - Unknown)

 I suspect the huge explosion shown close to the Old Mole is meant to represents the blowing up of la Torre del Tuerto during the initial land assault. If so it appears in the wrong place. The New Mole and la Torre del Tuerto lies well to the south and out of view towards the right in this perspective of the Rock of Gibraltar.

The tower was completely dedstroyed.

A View of the South Front . . . (1779 – William Test - Cropped)

The ruins of the Torre del Tuerto - shown more or less in the middle of the above watercolour - is labelled as:

Remains of an ancient lighthouse supposed to be built by the Carthaginians

Sadly, the New Mole and whatever might have been left of its attendant fortress and tower tended to have been regarded as of little interest to cartographers during the first few decades after the Anglo-Dutch take-over in 1704. So much so that many a plan of the Rock totally ignores everything south of Charles V Wall.

Some were still giving it a miss in the mid-17th century (1760 – Albert Charl Seuter)

1732 
As stated by Sáez:

Unos años después, figura (el Fuerte de la Torre del Tuerto), reconstruida como el “Fuerte de los Ingleses”. Se le dio planta triangular con la base del triángulo hacia tierra y su ángulo más agudo hacia el muelle. . . En la actualidad se llama Alexandria Battery.

“El Fuerte de los Ingleses” as proposed by the British chief engineer at the time on the left (1732 – Jonas Moore) - and Octavio Menni’s "Fuerte de la Torre del Tuerto" on the right (1669)

To the uninitiated such as I am, Moore’s new fort is not all that different to the overall blueprint shown on Menni’s 1669 plan. 

La Torre del Tuerto, remembered by some, forgotten by many -  Sic transit gloria mundi.


With a million thanks to my good digital friend Rafael Fernández without whose help, advice, inexhaustible supply of resource material and endless proof reading I would never have been able to write this essay.

Thank you Rafael.











Quoted in the timeline
Álvarez Vásquez, Manuel - La donación delas Pesquerías de Gibraltar . . . 1999
Anexo Documental -1468 enero 12. Donación de las pesquerías de Gibraltar al comendador fray Diego Bernal y a la Orden de San Juan de Jerusalén por Enrique do Guzmán,
Aparici y García, José - Colección de documentos copiados en el Archivo de Simancas - 1847
Aparici y García, José - Continuación del Informe sobre los adelantos de la Comisión de Historia” - 1851
Ballesta Gómez, Juan Manuel - La Fortaleza de Gibraltar y las Torres de su Costa (Siglos VII al XVI) - 2001
Barrantes Maldonado, Pedro – Dialogo . . . (1566)
Benady, Tito – Ingenieros Militares en Gibraltar en los siglos XVI and XVII
Benady, Tito – El Puerto de Gibraltar (2021)
Beneroso, José Santos – En Referencia a Tariq ibn Ziyad “el Tuerto” . . . 2017
Cámara, Alicia Muñoz – Esos Desconocidos Ingenieros - 2005
Cámara, Alicia Muñoz – Cristóbal Rojas
Cámara, Alicia Muñoz – Fortificación y Ciudad en los reinos de Felipe II – 1998
Cámara, Alicia Muñoz – The Courtier Engineer – Essay in “Ser Hechura de. . .)
Cooper, Edward - Castillos Señoriales de la Corona de Castilla Vo1.1 - 1991
Fa, Darren and Finlayson, Clive - The Fortifications of Gibraltar 1068 to 1945 – 2006
Hernández del Portillo, Alonso (c1548-1609)  -Historia de la Muy Noble y Muy Leal Ciudad de Gibraltar - 17th c.
Herrera y Sotomayor, Jacinto de - Iornada que su Magestad hizo a la Andaluzia - 1624
Hills, George – The Rock of Contention – 1974
Laso Ballesteros, Ángel – La cultura de los Ingenieros . . . Jerónimo de Soto (1991)
Lázaro Bruña, José María y Quintana Álvarez, Francisco Javier – . . . Tomás de Portillo (1626) – 2019
López de Ayala, Ignacio – Historia de Gibraltar - 1782
Mariátegui, Eduardo de – Cristóbal de Rojas: Ingeniero Militar del siglo XVI - 1880
Palao, George (Ed, Tito Benady) - The Guns and Towers of Gibraltar -1975
Pérez Escolano, Víctor – Tesis – Juan de Oviedo (1565-1625) (1975)Pérez Escolano, Víctor – Book – Juan de Oviedo (1565-1625) (1977)
Portillo, Tomás (c1576-c1642) – Son of Alonso Hernández del Portillo
Primera Crónica General de España – Late 13th century
Sáez Rodríguez, Ángel J. – Gibraltar en 1704 – (Cuadernos de Gibraltar) - 2015
Sáez Rodríguez, Ángel J. - La Montaña Inexpugnable - seis siglos de fortificaciones en Gibraltar (XII-XVIII) – 2006
Sáez Rodríguez, Ángel J. – Las Defensas de Gibraltar –(Siglos XII-XVIII) – 2008
Sáez Rodríguez, Ángel J. - El Informe de Luis Bravo de Acuña para Tarifa en 1627
Tafur, Pero (Pedro) - Andanças é viajes . . . 1435/1439
Wyngaerde, Anton van den – Flemish topographical artist - Panoramic sketches of the Rock - 1567

Engineers and others mentioned in the timeline
Álvarez de Toledo y Mendoza, Fadrique - Captain General of the Ocean Sea Navy
Antonelli, Giovanni Battista (1527-1588) – Military engineer
Antonelli, Bautista (1550-1616) Engineer – Younger brother of Juan Bautista Antonelli (1550-1616)
Benedetto de Ravena, Miser – Engineer – mid 16th C
Bravo de Acuña, Luis – (died 1634) Soldier – surveyed Gibraltar defences from 1622 t0 1627 
Calvi, Giovan Battista – 16th C Lombard engineer – Builder of Charles V Wall in Gibraltar
Castoria, Andrés – Engineer – Early 17th C
Fajardo de Tenza, Juan – Admiral and Captain General of the Gibraltar Fleet 
Fajardo, Luis (c1556-1617) – Admiral of the Spanish Navy – father of Juan Fajardo de Tenza above
Fontana, Julio César - Napolitan architect and engineer and one-time advisor to the King,
Fratino, Giovan Giacomo Paleari (el Fratino) (1520–1586) Engineer for the Emperor Charles V
Guzmán, Enrique Pérez de - 2nd Count of Niebla (1391-1436) – drowned during the ill-fated 7th Siege of Gibraltar 
Guzmán, Juan Alonso de – 1st Duke of Medina Sidonia (from 1445 to 1468) – Took Gibraltar from Muslims in 1462
Medina Sidonia, 7th Duke of, from 1559 to 1615 - Alonso Pérez de Guzmán, 
Médicis y Alemanni , Juan de, (c1585) – Italian Military engineer employed by the Crown.
https://dbe.rah.es/biografias/75286/juan-de-medicis-y-alemanni
Moore, Jonas (c1691-1741) British engineer at Gibraltar from 1711 to 1740
Rojas, Cristóbal de – (1555-1614) – Military Engineer
Spannocchi, Tibúrcio (1541-1609?) - King's Engineer to Philip II and III of Spain
Taren, Luis de – Quality surveyor involved in the construction of the mole in Malaga 
Vega, Garcilaso de la (? - 1512) – Corregidor (royal appointee) of Gibraltar in 1502  
Zúñiga, Juan de (?- 1665) – Governor of Gibraltar