The People of Gibraltar
1330s - Puerta de Corral de Fez - Sold as Slaves

Abu l Hasan and Abu Inan - Alonzo Pérez de Guzmán 
Van Den Wyngaerde and Colonel William Skinner.

This gate was probably built in the mid 14th century as a sea entry through the line wall built by the Marinid conquerors of the Rock, Abu-I-Hasan and his son, Abu-Inan. There is some doubt as to its exact location but it was probably just north of the Torre del Tuerto and close to the New Mole area. (see LINK) 1

The name 'corral' refers to a kind of market or Moorish baths found in Barbary  where slaves were either sold off or held until ransomed. The one in Fez was particularly well known. During the defence of Tarifa against the Moors in 1294, Alonzo Pérez de Guzmán (see LINK) stiffened the moral of his troops by telling them that if they fled instead of fighting and happened to be taken alive, they would tied up and carted off to the Corral de Fez to be sold as slaves. 2

Presumably he was referring to the African version but even as far back as the very early 17th century it was well known that the southern area of the Rock had once been populated by the Moors. The presence of water tanks, a mesquita with a tower, old vineyards, the remains of ancient Moorish walls and a large cistern later known as the Nuns' Well (see LINK) suggested a relatively prosperous community perhaps even involved in a thriving slave trade similar to its namesake in Barbary. 3

According to Ignacio López de Ayala (see LINK) in his Historia de Gibraltar:
Al norte de la Virgen de Europa, i sobre la caleta del Laudero, corría un murillo viejo, i en él una puerta a la Morisca que introducía al sitio llamado corral de Fez; i a lo que se puede entender hubo allí alguna poblacion de mores de Fez, ó mercaderes  que conducían mercaderías de África  . . .

La Caletita de Landeras - possible site of the Puerta de Corral de Fez ( 1733 - Homman - detail )

La Puerta de Corral de Fez would have been a convenient place to land  both goods and personnel, bypassing the need to enter the town in the usual manner from the Puerta de Mar in the north.4 (see LINK) According to Barrantes Maldonado (see LINK) it was through this gate - or its remnants - that the Turks landed on the Rock during their notorious raid of 1540 (see LINK)
By the mid 16th century, the Moors had long since left Gibraltar for good and the line wall that had been erected to protect it became derelict - as shown graphically on several drawings of Gibraltar. Nevertheless it seems that enough of the gate itself still remained to allow it to be identified as of Moorish origin.

A decayed Moorish wall - running up the slope of the mountain rather than part of the sea wall - is mentioned in the mid 18th century by Gibraltar's Chief Engineer, Colonel William Skinner (see LINK) . It may well have been part of the Corral ( 1779 - William Test -from William Skinner )

By the 18th century the gate no longer appears on any map and one must suppose that the gate had been removed during the improvement on the original Moorish line wall to the south of Charles V wall carried out by Spanish and then later by English engineers.