The People of Gibraltar
2019 - The 200 Caves of Gibraltar - Part 4

Devil's Dustbin Cave
A cave discovered at the bottom of the Devil’s Tower talus when spoil was being removed for the construction of the airfield during the Second World War. It appeared to be full of rubbish hence its name.



Talus material taken from the North Face of the Rock and used to construct the airfield during WW II   (Imperial War Museum)

Although the talus area is easily identifiable, I am afraid I have no idea as to where exactly the cave is situated.

Devil's Fall Cave
Devil's Fall (North)
Devil's Fall (West-Upper) (Crack Cave)
Devil's Fall (West-Lower)
Devil’s Fall Cave can be found on the cliff face between Camp Bay and Little Bay. It is considered dangerous because the cliff face has a tendency to rock movement. 



Cliff face between Camp Bay – in the foreground - and Little Bay    (1924)




Brave caver chancing his luck in the Devil’s Fall Cave in 1963   (With thanks to Walter Lawrence Pocock  who appears in the picture and whose photograph it is)


The numerous cannon balls found inside the cave in the 1950s may have found their way here by rolling down the slope formed originally by the Devil’s Bowling Green where they probably landed during Gibraltar's various 18th century sieges.




Cliffs above Camp Bay and Little Bay bottom left with the Devil’s Bowling Green above it   (19th century)


Almost the entire “Green” was destroyed by the early 20th century when it was used as a quarry to supply stones for the construction of the new harbour.

I don’t know what the three extra names for the cave refer to. The 2018 Heritage and Antique act simply identifies in their schedule Devil’s Fall Cave as a “Prehistoric Shelter”. A plan by an unknown author (shown elsewhere) identifying the location of named caves, lists the Devil’s Fall Cave and another one nearby named Crack Cave.

Devil’s Gap Cave
Devil’s Gap begins with a series of steps followed by a narrow pass which leads on to the upper Rock. It was something of a must for visitors to Gibraltar - and others - from the mid-18th century onward to walk its complete length. This is what Richard Twiss visiting in in the 1770s had to say about it: 
I ascended to the summit of the Rock in an hour, by the path called the Devil's-Gap, on a flight of two hundred stone steps, and then after having walked some time, went up four hundred more, which brought me to the signal-house built on the highest part of the mountain.

Devil’s Gap on the left  (Late 19th century)


The Devil’s Gap covers quite a long length off the Rock’s mountainside so it’s difficult for me to say where it might be found.

Devil's Tower Cave (Mousterian Shelter Cave)
Devil’s Tower Cave, hardly deserves to be considered a cave. At best a rather narrow fissure in the north face of the Rock, it lies just across the tower from which it was given its name. It has a maximum height of about 10 metres and is only around a meter wide and approximately four meters in depth. The cave floor is on a rocky outcrop just a few meters above present sea level. 



Close-up of the Devil’s Tower Cave (1926 – Dorothy Garrod – Pitt Rivers Museum Oxford University )


The cave was discovered jointly by Colonel Willoughby Cole Verner a British officer and ornithologist based in Gibraltar in 1911 together with Henri Édouard Prosper Breuil a well-known French archaeologist who is usually referred to as L’Abbe Breuil. They both immediately realised they were on to something important but for various reasons were forced to postpone any serious work on the site. 



Colonel Willoughby Cole Verner in the garden of the Mount      (May 1903 - Sarah Angelina Acland  (see LINK ) - Courtesy of the Museum of the History of Science, Oxford - Colour composite by Giles Hudson)


Henri Édouard Prosper Breuil 


In 1917 Verner and Breuil returned to the site and unearthed several stone tools and animal remains and came to the conclusion that this was a place that had been used by Neanderthals as a rock shelter. The excavation was farcically cut short when a military policeman officiously ordered them off the cliff face.

In 1919, armed with a pass given to them by the Governor - which they should have obtained the first-time round - they returned once more to the site. Taking into account the fact that the Devil’s Tower Cave was quite close to Forbes’s Quarry Cave where the original but wrongly identified female Neanderthal Skull - Gibraltar 1 - had been found in 1848, they explored the talus in general and found flint tools and other artefacts which they identified as Mousterian and evidence of Neanderthal activity. 



Sketch of the North face of the Rock showing the “brecciated talus” between Forbes Quarry (1) and the Devil’s Tower Cave (2)

In 1856 skulls were found in the Neanderthal Valley in Germany that turned out to be a new human species that were given the name of Neanderthal Man.


Between 1925 and 1927, the Devil's Tower site was investigated yet again this time by Dorothy Garrod from Cambridge University on the suggestion of L’Abbe Breuil. She excavated the site more thoroughly than previously and was rewarded with the discovery of the skull of a four-year-old Neanderthal child - Gibraltar 2. She also went out of her way to prove that archaeologists have a decent sense of humour – she named the Neanderthal child "Abel" honouring Adam and Eve’s second child.  



Dorothy Garrod at the end of WW II where she served in the Women’s Auxiliary Air Corps ( Late 1940s - Unknown )








Photographs of the Devil’s Tower Cave excavation site taken by Dorothy Garrod (1926 – 1927 - Pitt Rivers Museum Oxford University) 


The Devil’s Tower Site - The fellow in white is standing in front of a raised beach   ( 1928 – Journal of the Royal Archaeological Institute - Beanland, Malin )


The Mousterian Shelter Cave is given as a completely separate cave on most general lists but I would say that it is one and the same cave as the Devil’s Tower. I suspect a 1928 paper by D. Garrod which has as a title - Mousterian rock-shelter at Devil’s Tower – without ever naming the cave itself as Devil’s Tower Cave - might have something to do with it.



 (1977 - George Palao)

The cave is of course listed in the 2018 Heritage and Antiquities Act.

Dickson’s Cave
Mentioned in the World Heritage site document and described as having produced evidence of post-medieval activity.

Diesel’s Delight Cave
Appears on an anonymous list as being somewhere in the vicinity of Glen Rocky Gorge.


2019 - The 200 Caves of Gibraltar - Introduction
2019 - The 200 Caves of Gibraltar - Part 1 - All’s Well - Beefsteak
2019 - The 200 Caves of Gibraltar - Part 2 - Blackstrap - Buena Vista
2019 - The 200 Caves of Gibraltar - Part 3 - Cave S - Coptic
2019 - The 200 Caves of Gibraltar - Part 4 - Devil’s Fall - Devil’s Tower
2019 - The 200 Caves of Gibraltar - Part 5 - Europa Pass - Forbes’ Quarry
2019 - The 200 Caves of Gibraltar - Part 6 - Genista - George’s Bottom
2019 - The 200 Caves of Gibraltar - Part 7 - Gorham’s - Harley Street
2019 - The 200 Caves of Gibraltar - Part 8 - Holy Boys - Ibex
2019 - The 200 Caves of Gibraltar - Part 9 - Judge’s Cave - Martin’s Cave
2019 - The 200 Caves of Gibraltar - Part 10 - Monkey’s - O’Hara’s
2019 - The 200 Caves of Gibraltar - Part 11 - Poca Roca - Ragged Staff
2019 - The 200 Caves of Gibraltar - Part 12 - Spur Road - St Michael’s -
2019 - The 200 Caves of Gibraltar - Part 13 - Star Chamber - Viney Quarry