The People of Gibraltar
2019 - The 200 Caves of Gibraltar - Part 5

Douglas Cave
To my admittedly inexperienced  eyes Douglas Cave does not look at all like a natural   cave. Nevertheless, it is named on many a list as a proper one despite its appearance as a rather dirty and unappealing man-made hole.


Douglas Cave

It can be found at the bottom of Douglas Path which runs north-south along the top ridge of the Rock of Gibraltar well within the Upper Rock Nature Reserve boundary. 


Douglas Path steps from the old pillbox looking south

The cave is inside a brick building and contains a single stone seat and the remains of a simple plaque.


Douglas Cave plaque

Despite the additional information of a stone near its entrance with the dates 1789 and 1897 its origins are unknown. 1789 is the year that the Great Siege began but nothing of any note appears to have happened in Gibraltar in 1897


Stone near entrance of Douglas Cave

Dudley Grotto Cave
Dudley Ward's Cave
Sir Alfred Dudley Ward was Governor of Gibraltar from 1962 to 1965. A road tunnel on the eastern side of the Rock connecting the southern end Herbert Miles Road near Sandy Bay was built during the 1950s and 1960s and was called Dudley Ward’s Way. It was shut in 2002 after a rockfall killed a local Brian Navarro. The tunnel was reopened in 2007. I don’t know where Dudley Ward’s Cave is but the general location of the Grotto Cave is shown on the plan below:


Plan showing the location of Dudley Grotto Cave as “D” (Undated and unattributed)

My guess is that both caves are to be found in this area – unless of course they are both one and the same cave.

Europa Advance Cave
There were - once upon a time - four Europa Advance Batteries although the only 19th century photos that I have ever come across only ever depict the 2nd one - and quite a few were taken over the years. Whether this was because the views from it were more picturesque than those of the other two or whether it was simply the only one that the authorities allowed to be photographed at the time, I have no idea.


View of part of the Gorham’s Cave complex from the 2nd Europa Advance Battery (Late 19th century)

Unfortunately, the distance between the first battery and the 4th one is considerable which makes it even harder to guess where the cave might have been.


The four Europa Batteries (2015 - World Heritage nomination document – Adapted)

Europa Pass Cave
Europa Pass was usually taken to refer to either an opening, gate or bridge near Glen Rocky just east of Buena Vista Barracks on the Europa Road. It lead south to Europa Flats and the spectacular rocky scenery that surrounded it made it something of a favourite with artists of the 18th and 19th century and photographers of the early 20th.


(1782 – Unknown artist – Gibraltar Museum)


Pass on the right (1810s – Thomas Ender)


Pass on the right looking south  (1820s – Henry Sandham)


Looking north (1846 John Murray Carter)


(Early 20th century)

Europa Pass is certainly an area in which one might expect to find a cave. The general location of Europa Pass Cave is confirmed on the following Plan.


Plan showing the location of Europa Pass Cave as “F” (Undated and unattributed)

Fig Tree Cave (1)
Fig Tree Cave (2)
This cave was first properly explored in 1867. According to George Busk quoting Captain Frederick Brome in a talk given in the members of the International Congress of Prehistoric Archaeology in 1868:

The cave thus named was the next explored. As it had no name before, I gave it the above, temporarily, from the fact of it having a Figtree growing out of the rocks above its entrance. It is a seaboard cave, situated not far from Martin's Cave, but about 200 feet higher up. There is no regular path to it, but from the polished state of the stalagmite at the entrance, it has evidently been much used at some time.

Fig Tree Cave lies about 3m above Mediterranean Steps with a narrow, low opening, widening into a small chamber. It seems that there are two caves involved but I cannot find any evidence for that other than the following comment by Brome:
There is another cavern, smaller and lower, running nearly parallel to this; and they both seem to meet at the ends, which are too contracted to allow one to pass through; but here no remains were found.
Finlayson’s Cave 
Located within the World Heritage site but not earmarked as having any further potential.

Forbes' Quarry Cave
This cave is on the eastern side of the North Front of the Rock although perhaps it would be more precise to say that it would once have been found there but has now more or less disappeared. Extensive quarrying during the late 19th century removed much of the slope at the base of the cave. 

The following is a report made in 1910 by Dr Duckword:
I have received news of a great land-slip which took place on Christmas Day, 1910. Early on that Day an immense fall of rock occurred, hundreds of tons being precipitated into Forbes' Quarry, which was thereby filled up almost entirely. The mouth of the cave has thus been rendered practically inaccessible. Inasmuch as the fallen masses are derived from what was previously solid rock in the heights above, no important exposure has been made thereby. 
In 1848 a skull was discovered in Forbes’ Quarry although the history of the discovery did not come to light until 1910 when it was found by Col. E. R. Kenyon in the minutes of the now long-gone Gibraltar Scientific Society. The skull was presented to the society by the finder Lieutenant Edmund Flint who also happened to be the secretary of the Society at the time.

The fact that the skull happened to belong to a Neanderthal woman – now known as Gibraltar 1 - failed to be appreciated until 1862 when it was sent to England by Captain F. Brome, governor of the military prison and an ardent speleologist.

Six years previously in 1856 skulls were found in the Neanderthal Valley in Germany that turned out to be a new human species. They were given the name of Neanderthal Man thus denying Gibraltar the honour of having an entire species named after it. The problem would later become irrelevant when another skull discovered in 1832 in Engis cave in Belgium also turned out to be that of a Neanderthal.

Dr W. L. H. Duckworth visited the cave in 1910 and described it as follows:
Its position seems to indicate that previously to the working of the quarry, its mouth must have been closed. One of the inspectors of police at Gibraltar can remember this cave some thirty years ago, when it was much deeper. It served then as a rendezvous for smugglers. The reduction in depth is doubtless due to the extension of the quarry whereby the cave walls are gradually being removed from its mouth inwards.

Forbes Quarry and Cave (1910 - Dr W. L. H. Duckworth)


Specimens from Forbes’ Quarry Cave excavation   (1910 - Dr W. L. H. Duckworth)

The later construction of military buildings as well as a succession of batteries directly above it named after Lt. George Forbes of the Royal Navy - didn’t help much either.


WWII Pillbox at the entrance to Forbes’ Quarry

Finally, according to an article in the Encyclopaedia Britannica dated 1937:
The original Gibraltar skull was presented by Mr. G. Busk (a friend of Brome) to the museum of the Royal College of Surgeons of England, where it is now exhibited.
The Gibraltar Museum is still forced to display a cast of the original which is today on display in the Human Evolution Gallery of the Natural History Museum in London. . . Hmmm . . . . 


Female Neanderthal skull - Gibraltar 1 – found in Forbes’ Quarry Cave

What little remains of this cave is listed in the 2018 Heritage and Antiquities Act.


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