The People of Gibraltar
2019 - The 200 Caves of Gibraltar - Part 11

Painter's Cave
I can’t find anything.

Pointer’s Cave
Painter’s Cave 
Both names appear on Gibraltar cave lists. A typo? Or are they two different caves?

Plan showing the location of Pointer’s Cave as “G” (Undated and unattributed)

Parson's Lodge Cave
See Camp Bay Cave

Pete’s Paradise Cave
Discovered in 1966 by the Gibraltar Cave Research Group while abseiling down the western cliffs near the Ape’s Den. The cave lies below Queen’s Road, south of Phillip II Wall. The entrance is through a very narrow horizontal fissure.

Pete’s Paradise Cave

Another excavation in the 1970s with unpublished results suggested that the cave had “formations . . . of exceptional value”. George Palao named four chambers within the cave, each of with unique and beautiful formations, which are not found in other caves in Gibraltar.

He named the first one the Rimstone Chamber because of its set of terraced rimstone pools. The next on - the Nun’s Chamber - contains a fresh water trough within a large rimstone pool. Another, the Pearl Chamber, contains unique beads of calcite that have formed when the calcium carbonate adheres to small grains of sand coating it with layer after layer. They are known as cave pearls. 

And finally, the last of the Chambers - The Hall of Pillars - contains three of the four perfect palette formations in Gibraltar. The fourth is in New St. Michael’s Cave.

Poca Roca Cave
This cave is found just west of Signal Station Road within the compound of the old Isolation Hospital, which is now a residential area.  The Garrison seem to have had difficulty with the pronunciation of the name of this cave as it is spelt in several different ways in the literature of the 18th century. 

Poca Roca (Rev C. Willyams)

The first literary reference comes from Capt. John Drinkwater:
There are several caves on different parts of the Hill in which water possessed petrifying qualities. One on Middle Hill called Pocoroco, was fitted up, previous to bombardment for the Governor’s reception but was afterwards converted into a powder-magazine being very convenient for the batteries on the heights.
Drinkwater’s colleague Captain John Spilsbury also mentions it on his diary of the Great Siege.
Poca Roba (sic) cave has become a laboratory for Willis since the accident with the shells.
There were quite a few accidents at Willis’s Battery to choose from and the “laboratory” might refer to the powder-magazine mentioned by Drinkwater.

By all accounts the Governor never spent a night in Poca Roca despite the best efforts of Lieutenant Holloway of the RE to make it as comfortable as possible for him. General George Augustus Eliott - named I think incorrectly as General James O’Hara in the Nature document - apparently preferred to sleep in his peace-time official residence - the Convent – or in a tent which was set up on a mound north of the Alameda Parade. The Eliott memorial would be set up here in the mid-19th century.

The Eliott Memorial    (Late 19th century -  Edward Angelo Goodall )

Captain Frederic Brome excavated Poca Roca in 1867 and concluded that Neolithic man had use of the cave, a conclusion that has been supported by subsequent excavations. The main chamber of this cave was converted rather ignominiously into a bakery during WWII and evidence of the bread racks still remained there in 1975.

Queen’s Lines Cave
East Queen's Line Cave
The Queen’s Lines ran east to west and formed an important section of the northern defences of Gibraltar. Above it to the east were the Prince’s Lines, below it the Inundation. Logic would seem to suggest that the cave was on the eastern side of the lines along the narrow area between either it and the prince’s Lines or the Inundation. But again, I am guessing. As regards the Eastern one I suspect that these two are really one and the same cave – but I could be wrong.

Plan showing the Queen’s Lines and surrounding area – top is north   (1908 – Ordnance Map – detail)

Queen's Cave
Queen's Road Cave
Presumably two different caves. The first one appears to be located close to Queen’s Road on the following plan.

Plan showing the location of Queen’s Cave as “H” (Undated and unattributed)

The plan below also identifies the Queen’s Road Caves – in other words more than one - and roughly confirms the expected location.

(Undated Plan Showing the layout of the tunnels of Gibraltar)

Ragged Staff Cave System
Crystal Cave - Crystal Cavern
Ragged Staff was once an important Royal Navy watering mole. It is still well-known locally if perhaps for other reasons, including the fact that it has proved impossible to determine where the name originally came from with any number of theories available depending on who you ask.

The caves are part of a complex and are entered via the Ragged Staff Tunnel. The original cave was discovered in the 19th century during military tunnelling work. In 1901 the Admiralty converted the cave into a magazine which took four years to complete.

Plan of the tunnels of Gibraltar showing Ragged Staff Tunnel (Undated – detail)

Sometime during the first decade of the 21st century, Dave Mattey of Royal Holloway University in London began his research fieldwork article on the Ragged Staff system with the following description:
Ragged Staff caves have been known since the early 19th Century and centuries of exploration, along with military and civic use and abuse has taken its toll. The cave is large and still very spectacular but not exactly a pristine environment. In the 1990’s the further reaches of Ragged Staff were properly explored and a narrow series of passages was found to lead to another large chamber known as Crystal Cave. 

Ramp to Crystal Cave (Dave Mattey)
The top of Crystal Cave leads to a further as yet un-named chamber, probably the best-preserved cave environment in Gibraltar. . . The route . . . descends into an uninviting rift which decreases in width to around 30 cm at the narrowest point . . . the squeeze . . .  The main problem is popcorn, an evaporite deposit coating the rocks that is sharp, painful and extremely effective at resisting any movement.

Evaporite deposits in Crystal Cave (Dave Mattey)

Saline lake – Ragged Staff Complex (Dave Mattey)

Mattey is of the opinion that this maritime cave is unique in that it has a huge potential for recording climate records for the western Mediterranean based on its cave formations 

Plan of the Rock showing location of the Ragged Staff Pool (2011 – Preliminary Flood Assessment Report)

Ragged Staff Pool - christened ‘The Silent Pool’ by its discoverers - is over 30 metres deep. An amphipod previously unknown to science was discovered in it relatively recently.

Copepod found in one of the Ragged Staff pools, probable a brand new species

Reservoir Cave No. 4
Reservoir Cave No. 5
Both caves located on the World Heritage site but listed as having no potential for further research.

Rifle Dustbin
Can’t find anything.

Rock Gun Cave
The editor of Kenyon’s 1930s history wrote the following footnote:
In October 1779 a 24 pounder - afterwards known as the “Rock Gun” was mounted on the northern summit and opened fire on the 13th .

Rock Gun area (21st Century)

Rock Fall Cave
Cannot find anything at all

Sandy Cave Lower
The lower one is mentioned in the World Heritage site document as submerged cave that has potential for future research. Nothing on the upper cave which I would imagine is nearby but not submerged.

Sandy Cave Upper
Found in the World Heritage site. Digs have revealed Post Medieval activity.

Sapper’s Bog Cave
Sapper’s Bog Scorpion Cave
See Harley Street Fissure

Signal Troop Cave
Smart's Well Reserve
Cannot find anything on either cave.

Smith’s Cave
Smuggler's Cave
South Cave
All three caves are mentioned in the World Heritage site document but are described as not having potential for future research.

Spanish Mine Cave
If this one is a misprint or typo and should actually be Spanish Main . . . then I haven’t a clue. However, if it is correctly spelt then here is a clue by John Drinkwater in his book on the Great Siege.

Numbers of the enemy deserted to the garrison, by whom on the 7th, the Lieutenant- governor was informed that they were constructing a mine, in a cave under Willis’s, with an intention, if possible, to blow up that battery.

Sketches of the east and west sides of the Rock showing a 1782 plan by the Spaniards to mine the north face

The lengthy caption is hard to decipher but essentially the author of this scheme was suggesting that use should be made of several “cuebas” (sic) as resting places for the the miners while they excavated the tunnel.

Path to Spanish Mine in North Front (With thanks to Tito Vallejo)

Incidentally I am not at all sure whether any of this exists today.

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