The People of Gibraltar
1550s - Other Spanish Churches - Gibraltar

Ermita de Santa Rosa

This hermitage is not mentioned by Alonso Hernández del Portillo in his early seventeenth century Historia de Gibraltar. (See LINK) Local Historian George Palao called it Saint Rose Hermitage and suggests that it was:
. . . a sixteenth century hermitage which stood on the site of the little sisters of the poor (Las Hermanitas de los Pobres). Others suggest that it stood at the entrance of Saint Bernard’s College on Europa Road.
Although Palao gives no references I suspect he got his information from E.R. Kenyon’s book on the History of Gibraltar (see LINK) . . . . in which Kenyon in turn quotes John Baptist Scandella, Catholic Vicar Apostolic of Gibraltar from 1857 to 1880. Scandella wrote an article on Spanish churches for the Gibraltar Chronicle (see LINK) of the 9th of April 1868. I never had the pleasure of reading this but apparently this is what he had to say about Santa Rosa:
The “Hermitage of Saint Rose” (is) on the site of the guardhouse at the entrance to St Bernard’s College.
In a footnote that attempts to clarify the above Kenyon also wrote:
St Bernard’s College here means the house of the Little Sisters of the Poor and the guardhouse used to stand at the entranced to Engineer Road.
Kenyon got this last bit of information from a certain Christian brother called Father Jones of whom I know nothing at all. Nor can I be of any help in deciding which of the two locations - Europa Road or Engineer Road - is the right one for the Hermitage. So far the only additional piece of evidence I can offer is that the name of Santa Rosa it appears on an old 18th century map. I have yet to find it mentioned on any pre-1704 map - nor on any newer ones.

(1762 - Felipe Crame - detail - adapted)

The presence of this church directly above if somewhat removed from Rosia Bay has often led many to be believe that the name of the Bay is derived from it. (See LINK) The Spanish name usually used to identify this cove was Cala de San Juan - as shown on the map by Felipe Crame and presumably a reference to the nearby Iglesia de San Juan el Verde. (See LINK)

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

1550s - Calvario con Tres Cruces

According to Campo historian J.M.Ballesta Gómez, it was built on a knoll just behind the hospital - San Juan de Dios  (see LINK) - which was connected to it via a steep track.

(1627 - Luis Bravo de Acuña - detail - adapted)

It probably only included seven of the possible fourteen Stations of the Cross with tracks connecting each. What is less easy to tell is whether the stations were near each other and close to the knoll or whether the Calvario de tres Cruces was the starting point of a journey that would take the worshipper to various other parts of the Rock, which would have been more in keeping with the idea of reproducing the original Via Dolorosa. (See also the chapter on the Calvary Hermitage below). 

The site was almost certainly instigated by the Franciscan Order who are generally held responsible for the creation of outdoor shrines of this type and who were very active in Gibraltar during the entire Spanish period.

1600s - Calvario con Muchas Cruces

According to Portillo:
Y cerca de esta ermita (San Juan el Verde). . . se ha hecho un calvario con muchas cruces, estaciones y pasos en memoria de los que Cristo anduvo por nuestra salvación obrada por la devoción y limosna del Almirante Roque Centeno que lo fue de la armada del Estrecho de que fue General Don Francisco Tarando  y fue esto por el año 1623.

The fellow on the left is Roque Centeno Ordoñez   (1634 - La Defensa de Cadiz - Zurbaran - detail)

The Calvario must have been brand new when Portillo wrote about it. By all accounts Centeno was much admired in Gibraltar. He used his squadron of galleons to great effect when he was put in charge of the defence of the Straits of Gibraltar.

1550s - Calvary Hermitage

Not mentioned by Portillo but according to George Palao it was:
A 16th century hermitage which stood on the site of the Mount . . .
Kenyon, however, suggested that the hermitage formed part of the Calvary set up in honour Admiral Roque Centeno (see Calvario con muchas Cruces above) and that:
. . . . the commencement being at red sands and the termination at “The Mount” where there was a chapel which together with the fourteen crosses, was under the care of the Knights of Malta who occupied San Juan el Verde.  
Several crosses that appear on Bravo de Acuña’s 1627 plan may represent Stations of the Cross - although there is no way of telling whether this is so. Nevertheless, Kenyon’s is an appealing theory - especially if the one at the Mount was simply the last and perhaps the most imposing cross in Centeno’s Calvary.

Four possible Stations of the Cross    (1627 - Luis Bravo de Acuña - detail - adapted)

Curiously a potted history of the Mount offered by the Gibraltar Heritage Society makes no mention of any previous hermitage anywhere near the Mount. Instead the “history” of the place begins in 1775 when Colonel William Green (see LINK) chief Engineer of Gibraltar was granted “a piece of land in the south district on the proviso that he cleared it at his own expense.” An interesting “proviso” but If what he had been asked to clear was an old hermitage I am sure whoever wrote this would certainly have mentioned it.

1550 - La Capilla de Cristo - Gibraltar

Not mentioned by either Portillo or Palao. The oldest reference I can find is by Thomas James in his Herculean Straits. (See LINK
On the road from the town, and where it branches off to the upper and lower Europa, are the ruins of a small building, which had a cross erected on it; and where the inhabitants generally stop’t and prayed, before they approached the chapel of Europa: which was called the chapel of Christ. 
Local historian Tito Vallejo probably taking his cue from James identifies its location as shown below. 

Location of la Capilla del Cristo as identified by Tito Vallejo (1627 - Luis Bravo de Acuña - detail - adjusted)

It also appears on several of 18th century maps - in fact it is one of the few that can be found on post-1704 maps with relative ease.

Le Christ    (1756 - Louis Claude de Vezou - detail)

Le Christ     (1756 - Jean de Beaurin - detail)

Le Christ    (1762 - Tomas Lopez)

Le Christ     (1770 Jean Lattre)

1600s - Capilla Real de Nuestra Señora de la Piedad

Not mentioned by Portillo, Kenyon or Palao - but according to Father Gerónino in his Emporio de el Orbe (see LINK) which was published in 1690:
 . . . y extramuros  . . . en el muelle una Capilla Real de el titulo de N. Señora de la Piedad 
In other words it was probably somewhere close to the New Mole and  was probably built after 1625. And that is about all I know about this one.

1550s - Nuestra Señora del Rocio

Not mentioned by Portillo but local Historian George Palao seem to have had few doubts on this one:
This Shrine stood above the wooden steps leading down to Camp Bay and just south of Parson’s Lodge . . .  It has always been thought that “Rosia Bay” to the South west was a British corruption of the name of the shrine, but there are Spanish plans which are clearly marked Bahia de Rosia while a later one calls it “Bahia de Santa Rosa”.
Tito Vallejo makes the usual use of Bravo’s map to place the church more or less above Camp Bay as suggested by Palao although no church or building is shown on the original map.

(1627 - Luis Bravo de Acuña - detail - adapted)

So far I have been unable to trace any evidence for the existence of this Church. Nor can I find anything to support the theory that Rosia Bay was a corruption of the name of this shrine. If anything it seems more likely that the name was derived from hermitage of Santa Rosa as described elsewhere.

The only Spanish plans that I have found that refer to the Bay as la Bahia de Rosa is one that appears in Historia de Gibraltar by Spanish historian Francisco Maria Montero. (See LINK) But this one was published in 1860. The plan is a copy of an older one superimposed with Montero’s own identifying captions. On it he applies the name of Rosia Bay to a small, unknown cove close to the New Mole and names Rosia Bay itself as Bahia de San Juan.

Comparison between an anonymous map dated 1723 and based on Luis Bravo’s of 1627 (top) and Francisco Maria Montero’s 1860 captioned version (bottom)

1550's - Nuestra Señora de la Consolación

According to Portillo this was just an alternative name for the San Juan el Verde (See LINK) :
Esta entre estos huertos la Iglesia de San Juan de Verde . . . Aquí está una imagen de Nuestra Señora de la Consolación, que casi ha avocado así el nombre de la ermita.