The People of Gibraltar
1550s - Nuestra Señora de los Remedios - Gibraltar

La ermita de Nuestra Señora de los Remedios  (1970 - George Palao - Adapted)

This hermitage is unusual in that its position is clearly identified on three of the oldest extant maps of Gibraltar  - one by Anton van den Wyngaerde, another by Cristóbal Rojas, and yet another by Luis Bravo de Acuña.

A = Nuestra Señora de los Remedios - It overlooks la Ensenada de los Remedios - Camp Bay    (1567 - Anton van den Wyngaerde) (See LINK)

(1608 - Cristobal Rojas)  (See LINK)

(1627 - Luis Bravo de Acuña)  (See LINK)

 The hermitage also gave its name to the small cove which it overlooked - la Ensenada de los Remedios - to such an extent that when the British demolished the hermitage in 1733 in order to build the Navy Hospital - later known as the Naval Hospital - many Spanish and French map incorrectly named it as the Hospital de los Remedios - a name which the British naval establishment would never have used.

Spanish map showing the hospital as Nuestra Señora de los Remedios    (1762 - Felipe Crame - detail)

French map showing the “Hospital de ND des Remedes” - Nuestra Señora de los Remedios -    (1770 - Chalmandrier - detail)

As were most other churches on the Rock prior to the capture of Gibraltar in 1704 by Anglo-Dutch Forces (see LINK), the hermitage seems to have been economically quite well off. For about twenty years before it all came to an abrupt end, Juan Fernandez, the Steward of the church was probably kept quite busy looking after its economic interests in town. There are records that show that it rented out at least a couple of properties one to a certain Pedro Jimenez, and another one in front of the Church of St Mary the Crowned (See LINK) between two narrow streets one of which was the awkwardly named “la Calle que va a la Plazuela de don Juan Serrano” - Bomb House Lane.

The hermitage also boasted a statue of la Virgen de los Remedios. It was covered in jewels that had been partially financed by Isabel de Gárate y Arriola, a rather well-off local lady. According to the Spanish historian Ignacio López de Ayala the statue was:
Imagen muy célebre y frecuentada, con quien tenía la ciudad mucha vocación
 In 1711 Diego Ponce, the sexton of the Hermitage in San Roque managed to convince Colonel Ralph Congreve - who would soon become Governor of Gibraltar but was probably only the Commanding military officer at the time - to allow him to borrow the statue for a while on the pretext that it was needed for an unspecified religious event. It was never returned.

In 1726 the building was used as a barracks and seven years later - as mentioned previously - it was completely demolished when what would later be known as the old Naval Hospital was built on its site.

The old Naval Hospital - the earlt 18th century plan below is by Gibraltar’s chief engineer at the time - James Montressor  (See LINK)