The People of Gibraltar
1462 - Gibraltar - The Spanish Fortress - Part 12
Further South

The Eight Gun Battery has been erroneously cited as el Baluarte de Santa Cruz which was actually situated in the interior where the British would later establish the Genoese Battery. This “Eight Gun Battery” appears in 18th century Spanish maps as el Baluarte del Duque which coincides with that given to it by Correa de Franca of Baluarte del Duque de Arcos.

Baluarte del Duque (1779 - Juan Caballero - detail)

Eight Gun Battery     (1732 - Jonas Moore for the Governor Joseph Sabine- detail)

Bravo apparently renamed el Baluarte de Santa Cruz and called it el Baluarte de San Felipe. Elsewhere Sáez suggests that this North South defensive entity was renamed as the “Demi-Bastion” (or South Demi-Bastion) by the British.

(1859 - Gibraltar Fortifications - detail)

It is also the same as the one that is known today as Jumpers Bastion in honour of the Captain of HMS Lenox who was the first to lead his men in the decisive attack against the southern mole

Jumpers Bastion - probably referring to the one on the south side   (Late 19th century - J.M. Mann)

The vulnerability of this site had been noticed by the technicians who had studied the defences of Gibraltar at the start of the 17th century:
There being lots of things that need guarding in that place and position and the loss of the Torre del Tuerto to the enemy as the more distant because of its lack of proper defences would put the city and everything else in danger. If today this place is lacking in gunpowder, bullets or guns with carriages capable of firing twice, it will probably be because there are other post that need arming.
Behind these defences the British army quickly constructed terraced artillery placements which dominated this large southern area. They did not forget that it was it very weakness that allowed them to take the town using their own troops that were far superior both in numbers and in equipment to the defenders.

Octaviano Meni was involved in the fortification of this part of the world in 1662 when he had propose to fortify el Puesto de los Bueyes, which is known as Windmill Hill today. The name is an odd one as it suggests that the area was used for keeping cattle. According to Portillo:
Gibraltar supplies cattle for ploughing purposes and for the abbatoirs of Granada, Cordoba and other cities; in fact working cattle from here are used throughout a large part of Andalucía and even right up to the Kingdom of Toledo
However a much more appropriate and larger area for this purpose would have been on the isthmus on the opposite side of the Rock or indeed elsewhere in the hinterland known as el Campo de Gibraltar.

A herd of cows on the isthmus  (Early 20th century)

The options were to surround the area with a wall from the face of the Rock towards the west, flanking it with two bastions and two semi-bastions or whether to construct a pentagonal fortress. Towards the south Abu-Innan’s wall still existed although in deplorable condition. It is instructive to realise that just a few decades after they had been repaired and renovated, the old wall continued to collapse as had been happening during the previous years.

During the mid 14th century when the Rock was back in Moorish hands, the Marinid ruler, Abu l' Hasan ( see LINK ) ordered general improvements to be carried out on his newly acquired estate in Al Andalus. His efforts have been recorded by just about every historian ever since with the following irresistible quote:
Abu l Hasan again applied himself further to strengthen Gibraltar, by causing a thick wall to be built at the foot of the Rock, surrounding it on all sides as the halo surrounds the crescent moon . . .
This, of course, is an exaggeration - the line wall only extended along the western shores from what was later known in Spanish times as el Baluarte de San Andres in the north up to somewhere near Europa point.  Abu l Hassan - as would most other military strategists in the future - conclude that line walls were unnecessary along the eastern and northern perimeter of the Rock. The sheer cliffs on both sides were more than enough to deter any enemy.

The forbidding eastern cliffs of the Rock     (Late 19th century - J.H. Mann)

In 1662 while the engineers, Padre Genaro Mariá Aflito and Octaviano Meni were proposing plans for the new fortifications the General of the Artillery - who was also Governor of the Rock - expressed himself to them in the first person:
I try to enclose myself within stockades, fortifying the gates and repairing walls that have collapsed, which I judge to be of the greatest importance.
It was known in the 17th century as the Muralla Real. A notary protocol dated 1614 mentions the following:
. . . the inheritance of an orchard with fruit trees and vines which is found within the royal walls of the Tarfes, next to the ermita de Nuestra Señora de los Remedios . . . and with a road that comes up from the Camimo Real in which can be found the church of Nuestra Señora de Europa.

The most prominent outcrop of the Gibraltar coast other than Punta de Europa is the one just in front of   the Caleta de San Juan (today Rosia Bay). The pentagonal Torre del Tuerto was built on it and it is here that the construction of the New Mole began in 1617. The tower already existed in the 15th century and Portillo thought it might have been built before the Moorish era.

La Torre del Tuerto painted with a pentagonal top section    (1607 - Adam Willaers - detail)

The Gibraltarian author (Portillo) describes a shield with a band across it over its doorway that may have been of Nasrid origins. In 1535 Micer Benedito converted it into an independent artillery bastion which would in effect be the main southern defensive fortress given the deteriorating state of the Line Wall. The relevance of this cape lies in its proximity to the anchorage to its north. It is also close to the Arenales Colorados - today Red Sands - where the unfortunate Conde de Niebla attempted to conquer Gibraltar in the 15th century.

Plan of the Rock - The caption O on the right reads as follows: “Aqui fu La Batalla de don Henryco”    (1567 - Anton Van den Wyngaerde - adapted)

This is a reference to Don Enrique Perez de Guzman, the second Conde de Niebla who drowned just below the Line Wall at this spot during his failed attempt to take Gibraltar from the Moors in 1433. Legend has it that his body was recovered by the enemy, decapitated, placed in a wicker basket - a barcina - and hung near the water gate in full view of any passing ship. 

It stayed there until Gibraltar was recaptured by his grandson in 1462. According to some historians this is the reason why the area of town just behind the water gate - today's Casemates - became known as La Barcina.

However a more likely supposition is that it may have been a corruption of the Islamic “Dar al Sina’a” from which the English and Spanish word “Arsenal” is derived from.

The Italian engineer - Miser Benedito - together with Álvaro de Bazán also suggested building another three defensive watchtowers. One of them was earmarked for la Cala de San Juan which had little protection after the collapse of several sections of the Line Wall. The “Muro del Tarfe was also supposed to have been due for repairs but neither the building of the towers or the repairs seem to have been carried as the attack led by Caramani which began from the south found little to stop him on his way to the town. However, el Fuerte de la Torre del Tuerto or del Muelle Nuevo was eventually built. Portillo, incidentally, suggested that the name may have been a corruption of la Torre del Puerto.

In 1567 la Torre was drawn by Van den Wyngaerde who called it the “torre do torta” in his odd use of Castilian Spanish.

Sketch of Rosia district      (1567 - Anton Van de Wyngaerde)

The higher tower on the northern side of the promontory which is known today as Rosia is the Torre del Tuerto named as "la torra tort."

The area behind is labelled as Joan Plaza (la Plaza de San Juan). Its two main buildings are churches labelled A and B - Na Sr de los Remedios (Nuestra Señora de los Remedios) and San Juan Verde respectively. The rest of the text is illegible to me.

The New Mole (see LINK) which was supposedly built in 1516 and which ought to be pointing more or less southwest of the Torre is nowhere to be seen - neither here nor in any other of Wyngaerde’s sketches. By the early 17th century it was only 28 meters in length which is not very long and may account for its omission.

There is little doubt that the Torre and its name is pretty old. In 1469 Enrique IV of Castile mentions it in a Royal letters patent concerning its Garrison requirements.
Torre del Tuerto, Tarfes de arriba (Windmill Hill) y Yuso: Guardias y tenencias

Enrique IV of Castile

Barrantes Maldonado had described it previously in the 16th century as:
A castle as such set on a point made by the land into the sea which usually had its own “alcalde” and has four artillery guns with which it can cause considerable damage to sailing ships that enter the Bay and is the defender of that harbour. 
Half a century later it was no longer thought of as highly. According to Bravo de Acuña:
For the security of this Mole it is necessary to have a strong fortress that is indeed strong capable of housing artillery and men. The one that is there at present is very weak as the wall that faces the port has no traverse sections.
Bravo’s project left the tower as it was. He removed part of the eastern defensive front and built two semi bastions at each end and platforms capable of firing over the curtain walls after removing their crenellated tops. His assistant was an ancestor of Luis Varela one of the aldermen who would leave Gibraltar in the summer of 1704.

(1627 - Luis Bravo de Acuña)

Much of the English naval fire (in 1704) was directed at this area with the result that it ended up very badly damaged. In fact, according to most historians it actually blew up.

The New Mole - (1740 William Skinner)

This curious sketch of the New Mole shows the ruins of building which is explained as: 
Remains of an ancient lighthouse supposed to be built by the Carthaginians 
Actually it was almost certainly all that was left of the Torre del Tuerto after it blew up..

New Mole and Fort   (1732  - Jonas Moore)

As confirmed by the sketch shown above, the fort and surrounding area were duly rebuilt by Jonas Moore, the chief British engineer on the instructions of the Governor Joseph Sabine at the time. It became known known as el Fuerte de los Ingleses. It had a triangular shape with its base facing landward and the most acute angle pointing towards the Mole. The other two corners were occupied by Bastions which added to the flanking fire of the walls of the fortress. Today it is known as Alexandria battery,

Joseph Sabine - Governor from 1730 to 1739

A view of the English Fort and New Mole from the sea   (1801 - John Thomas Serres)

As regards the defences of the rest of the southern area, in 1554 Bartolomé Sanchez the hermit of Nuestra Señora de Europa asked the chief magistrate of the town to construct a tower or lighthouse - to aid navigation through la Punta de Leon. The expenses incurred would be paid by alms collected at the church. There is however, no evidence that it was ever built.

There were no further artillery placements towards the extreme south, defences being limited to walls enclosing beaches where it was possible for an enemy to disembark such as that of San Juan, de los Remedios, de Laudero and the Corral de Fez. The Torre de los Genoveses was used, together with el Hacho, as a lookout.

Plan showing the names of most of the small coves along the south west coast of Gibraltar (1733 - Hermann Moll - detail)

I am not entirely sure of the correct name of the cove shown furthest south which is given elsewhere as either “Laudro”, Laudero or as on the plan - “Landeras”. Corral de Fez is another unknown. The Torre de los Genovese was an appropriately tall building on Windmill Hill which now no longer exists.

Plan showing los Tarfes - la Torre de los Genoveses is identified as “Torre Ginobeses” somewhere in the middle of Windmill Hill - It no longer exists   (1608 - Cristóbal de Rojas)

The general development and remodelling of the encircling walls of Gibraltar in order to convert it into a “modern” fortress principally took place during the middle of the 16th and the first half of the 17th century corresponds with the theory expounded by Diego González de Medina Barba in his thesis - Examen de Fortificación que hace un Príncipe a un ingeniero, para poner en defensa sus estados which was published in 1599.

He describes cities walled in the out of date manner with towers placed very near each other. He proposed that for a more adequate defence bastions should be built which utilised the older structures. It would seem that this is precisely what we see as having taken place both in the northern defences and along the Line Wall.

A page from Diego González de Medina Barba’s thesis - The sketch presumably identifies the key lines on how to build a proper bastion