The People of Gibraltar
2019 - The 200 Caves of Gibraltar - Part 8

Hayne’s Cave
According to local historians Tito Vallejo the named is derived from the battery rather than the cave. The fellow was a certain Captain Haynes which means that spelling of the battery and the cave should have been Haynes’ or Haynes’s instead of the version at present in use.


The original battery was constructed in 1788 when Haynes was Garrison Quartermaster. A sign on the site giving 1903 may refer to the date in which the gun exhibited at present was placed there.




Hayne’s Cave Battery


Ignominiously the cave itself was eventually taken over for the storage of water tanks and pumps.

Holy Boy's Cave – Holyboys Cave




Holy Boy’s Cave - a large cave system on the eastern side of Gibraltar below Charles V Wall and St Michael’s Gate    (Early 20th century Ordnance Map – detail)

There are various versions as to where the name comes from. One of the more interesting - if rather far-fetched - is that it is derived from the 9th Regiment of Foot, later to become the Royal Norfolk Regiment. After having served with distinction during the Great Siege they were given the battle honour “Gibraltar”. 

More to the point they also served during the Peninsula War where they were nicknamed the Holy Boys when a Spanish soldier erroneously identified the image of Britannia on their cap badges as the Virgin Mary.


Cap badge of the Royal Norfolk – possibly very similar to that of the 9th of Foot – that Spanish soldier must have been pretty myopic


According to the anonymous author of an article in “Underground Gibraltar” the following description by Connolly in his ‘History of the Royal Sappers and Miners’ fits the profile of Holy Boy’s Cave:  
In enlarging the works of the garrison, the military artificers frequently opened up cavities in the promontory which were mostly of sufficient interest to excite the curiosity of geologists; but one discovered in 1811, by some miners of the corps, while scarping the back of the Rock, attracted, at the time, unusual attention.  
It was situated on its eastern side, and its extent classed it among some of the largest within the area of the fortress. Removing the rank vegetation which had over-grown its mouth, a small chasm was bared, opening into a cave containing several chambers and grotto's . . .  Seemingly, the roofs were supported by a number of pillars, which the dripping of ages had congealed into all shapes and sizes . . . Nothing seemed capable of living there but a colony of bats . . . 

The entrance    (Underground Gibraltar)
All was rich, beautiful, and sparkling. It was a marvel to adventurers, but unfit for habitation; yet, in later years, this hole of the mountain was possessed by a Spanish goat-herd, who reached his solitude by the same threadlike but dangerous tracks as his goats. There might the recluse have lived till his bones fell among the petrifactions, (sic) but he was at length expelled from its gloomy precincts on account of his contraband iniquities. 
The cave is listed in the 2018 Heritage and Antiquities Act

Ibex Cave
Ibex Cave was named and excavated by the Gibraltar Museum in 1994. It had been discovered many years earlier - perhaps in the 1960s - during a sand collection operation that had been set up on the east side of the Rock . . . 

In 1985 just after the work had started the workers discovered the entrance to a small cave where they discovered a collection of stone artefacts and bones. George Palao of the local Public Works Department realised the possible importance of the find and called a halt to the proceeding. He ordered the cave to be closed, bagged the discoveries together with an explanatory note and left the lot at the Gibraltar Museum where they were kept unnoticed in one of the museum’s vaults until rediscovered by Dr Clive Finlayson.


The bagged items included a quantity of mammal bones including an almost complete skull of an Ibex. There were also several stone tools many of them made of red jasper which were soon identified as Mousterian – in other words they had been created by Neanderthals. But perhaps of even more importance Palao’s report conveniently described exactly where the finds came from.

. . . A friend of the museum, Julio Gafan, introduced Dr Finlayson to a former worker at the site who agreed to take him and his wife to the spot where the artefacts had been recovered. They recorded the rediscovery as follows:

Getting to the site was not easy . . . This we did by obtaining permission to enter via the Wa-terworks. Mr Manolo Perez and his deputy, Mr Derek Cano, and their staff have always been most helpful to the Gibraltar Museum and this time was no exception. Having left the car on the west side of the Rock we walked the long and straight tunnel which leads to the huge reservoirs which hold Gibraltar’s water supply. Some are the size of two football pitches and during the Second World War one of them housed the Black Watch Regiment! 
. . .  As you walk along it, on the tracks of a small railway system, the opening gets larger and the light brighter. Having got used to the darkness of the inner depths of the Rock you are suddenly confronted with the bright blue of the Mediterranean on the other side.
The other side of the Rock is literally another world. Having got there the early morning sun, contrasting with the deep shade of the west side, is then quite warm and agreeable. You look around and you see Catalan Bay below you and the slopes around are covered in a curious mix of introduced Hottentot Figs from South Africa used to stabilise the loose sands, Canary Palms, Tamarisks and native matorral dominated by Lentiscs and Olive. The old corrugated sheets of the water-catchments were still prevalent in those early days of 1992.
From the exit to the tunnel we walked south along a passage on the side of which was the channel which used to carry the rainwater into the reservoirs. Throughout the walk we would hear the rattle of stones as they fell onto the sheets from the cliffs above, perhaps disturbed by a gull landing, perhaps accomplices in the millennial process of erosion which, one day, will reduce the Rock to a flat land. 
We reached a point where we had to abandon the luxury of the passage and start to climb to-wards the cliff face. The steps here were narrow and a railing to hold onto was not always there. In fact, when there was it was so precarious that it was best not to hold on to it at all! The situation was not for one who suffered from vertigo.
The higher we went the smaller Catalan Bay became below us. On either side of us we had corrugated iron sheets so to stumble would have meant a long fall down. A large Tamarisk half-way up right across the steps did little to help as we had to struggle through its branches to get to the other side.
Eventually we conquered the 700 or so steps and reached a sandy platform which had been created by the workers as they removed the sand. We peered over the top and the view was surreal. We can only describe it as a small forest of tobacco plants that had spread and grown here. In the centre of this, then was a bulldozer, apparently taken up there in parts and assembled on site!
There were lots of boulders. In many ways getting from here to the cave was the most dangerous part. The boulders were left-overs of the sand removal. Among them were remnants of rusty sheets so there was no guarantee of stability. The cave was a small opening on the cliff side. When we got to it, we soon found some prehistoric stone tools and more bones on the surface and we were convinced that this was just the tip of the iceberg. It was at that moment that we knew we had to excavate here.


Ibex Cave
The cave needed a name. No matter how much we debated we could not reach agreement. Our son, Stewart, then nine years old, stated the obvious – we had found the complete skull of an Ibex . . . so it should be called Ibex Cave. As parents we were not sure. Months later Andy Currant, in his inimical style settled it for us – Stewart named it Ibex Cave, here is the Ibex skull, therefore you must call it Ibex Cave! Who would argue? Two years later, in May 1994, we were digging….”
Ibex Cave is now known to have been a hunting station of the Neanderthals around 40 thousand years ago, a site where they went to hunt those ibexes. The cave is listed in 2018 - Heritage and Antiquities Act

Ince’s Cave
On a beautiful sunny day in May 1782, the Governor of Gibraltar, George Augustus Eliott, Green inspected the northern defences of Gibraltar, soldiers and their officers lined up as usual. The hardships of the Great Siege were making themselves felt. 



A portrait of General Eliott – with his surname misspelt

Pondering on the disastrous effects that enemy fire was having on his North Front batteries Eliott decided it was time for some serious lateral thinking. He would – he told his listening troops - a thousand dollars to anybody who could suggest how they might get flanking fire on the enemy below. After a few minutes silence a certain Henry Ince Sergeant-major of the Company of Artificers stepped forward and suggested the idea of digging a series of galleries out of the northern face.

Eliott surprisingly approved immediately, the galleries were constructed and Ince became one of the many well-known personalities of the Great Siege. The galleries proved not as important militarily as Eliott might have wanted but they would later more than compensate the efforts made to construct them by becoming a tourist highlight to visitors to Gibraltar. Ince never got his one thousand dollars – but he did get a farm instead – Ince’s Farm. 


Plan showing Ince’s Farm – I am not sure why “Creswell” is added in brackets – The Cresswells, a well known family on the Rock, lived elsewhere   (1830's - Piaget et Lailavoix – detail)


As regards the cave one possibility would have been that it was discovered and named during the construction of the galleries. However, the undated and unattributed plan shows its location quite close to the farm. It is also included in the list of Nature Reserve Caves. 



Modern day ruins of the farm on the left (With thanks to Tito Vallejo)

John Giant Cave
Inside the Heritage site but listed as not having the potential for further investigation.


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