The People of Gibraltar
1462 - Gibraltar - The Spanish Fortress - Part 13
The Gates - Puertas de la Barcina, Castillo and Granada

Fernando Perez Pericon's book De la Muy Noble y Más Antigua Ciudad de Gibraltar published in 1636 contains a long panegyric on Gibraltar which includes the following lines;

Vuelvo pues a la ciudad.
Tiene tres puertas muy grandes,
Una sale al Medio día, (Southport)
Si bien del monte no sale.
La de la mar, al occidente, (Waterport)
Y la de tierra el levante. (Landport)

He was wrong in so far la Puerta de Tierra is concerned - it faces north not east. The description is also ambiguous. In 1636 Gibraltar had many more than three gates - at the very least thirteen.

The gates of the medieval town continued to be used for their original purpose for a long time. It was only when fortification modernising projects were developed by Spain over a period of three centuries that they were progressively affected. 

The applying of post-medieval defensive criteria required the maintenance of some sort of a scheme which would allow access into the place by the population. Openings on defensive walls, however, would often require gates to enable troops to be able to protect themselves under cover when they were being attacked.

La Puerta de la Barcina

This was opened in the 17th century together with a pentagonal platform on its eastern side. It  gave access between la Barcina and la Turba and remained in permanent use for centuries and eventually became a fossilised part of the urban environment during the 20th century. 

1608 -Cristóbal de Rojas - detail)

Today the area coincides with the intersection between Main Street and Casemates Square.

Northern end of  Main Street  - The rather dilapidated building on the right may have been part of the west tower of la Puerta de la Barcina

The Gates into the Castle Precinct

The two gates of the Castle precinct are not mentioned in the modern era and must have lost their usefulness during the British epoch.  

Castle Precinct gates    (1978 - Adapted from George Palao)

The great tower-gate (Gate B) which is supposed to be of Almohad origin had a cornered passageway. The bomb-proof roof was used as a gunpowder magazine even up to more recent times. 

The Gatehouse - Gate B   (Late 19th century - J.H. Mann - detail)

The one that we call the Nasrid gate (Gate A) has been covered up with masonry from an unknown date although it was still in use in the 18th century. Bravo de Acuña’s plans show that its medieval defensive system remained unchanged during the 17th century as it was part of the precinct of the Castle in the interior of the city. 

However, I suspect that Sáez himself would agree that the the chronology and identity of these two Castle gates is by no means as clear-cut as suggested by the descriptions given above. In 2001 Saez wrote an article on the topic with the title - Gibraltar Almohade y Meriní  (Siglos  XII-XIV) in which he includes the following plan.

(2001 - Almohade y Meriní  - Siglos  XII-XIV)

The plan identifies:
Gate A as Puerta de la Victoria (Bab al-Futuh) . In other words this is the 12th century Almohad gate.
Gate B - today known as the Gatehouse - is labelled as Puerta de Yusuf 1. This one is the 14th century Nasrid gate. The article includes a floor plan for the gate:

Floor plan of the Nasrid Gate of Yusuf 1 - Gate B or the Gatehouse  (2001 - Sáez )

Fa and Findlayson’s book The Fortifications of Gibraltar published in 2006 gives the impression that there was only one gate worth discussing and that was the Gatehouse (Gate B) which they confirm was a 14th or early 15th century structure build in the Nasrid era. 

However, the second book published by Sáez a year later in 2007 contradicts the above. 
De las dos puertas identificadas solo una permanence en pie, la sudeste o puerta de la Victoria . . . . Fue dada a conocer en el Congreso “Fortificaciones en al-Andalus” de Algeciras, aunque citada por error como Puerta de Yusuf 1.
And just in case he adds another modern photograph of the Gatehouse (Gate B) with a corrected caption.

If Sáez is correct that means that his original article as well as Fa and Finlayson’s were wrong. More recent work on the topic was published by local archaeologists - Kevin Lane et al - includes a plan of Islamic Gibraltar which is very similar to the one Sáez published in his article - the only basic difference being that the Gate of Yusuf 1 (Gate B = Gate 2 = The Gatehouse) is captioned as the Gate of Muhammed V.

Their interpretation is based on a fresh translation of inscriptions that were once found on the top of one of the gates into the castle.

Inscriptions that were once found on the top of one of the gates into the Castle   (1771 - Thomas James)

The circumstances that add to the general confusion regarding these gates is that the inscription - now long since destroyed - were seen and commented upon not just by Thomas James who is responsible for the copies shown above but by several other 18th century visitors to Gibraltar who in variably refer to the gate as one that was facing south - the reality being that both gates face south - Gate 1 to the south west, Gate 2 to the south east which make the inscriptions irrelevant in so far as deciding which gate was built by either Yusuf 1 or Muhammed V.

Personally, although with no evidence other than a hunch, I believe that the Gatehouse (Gate2) was Bab al-Fath . . . . “e si non è vero è ben trovato”!