Guns & Bastions

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Guns & Bastions

The British Garrison has historically maintained a strong presence on the Upper Rock, and before WWII, it began constructing defensive batteries on most promontories on the Rock for the protection of ‘Fortress Gibraltar’. In 1713, after the signing of the Treaty of Utrecht the British garrison undertook work to strengthen the fortifications against any possible counter-offensive launched by the Spanish. Additional batteries were constructed at the northern end of the Rock, overlooking the Spanish lines. In 1938, the Governor of Gibraltar, Sir Edmund Ironside further reinforced the defences against any land attack, particularly those facing the north. Defensive guns can still be seen at Princess Caroline’s and Princess Amelia’s Batteries. Large 9.2-inch guns were also placed at the southern end of the Rock to defend the Strait of Gibraltar. These still stand at O’Hara’s and Lord Airey’s Batteries. Numerous anti-aircraft batteries and searchlight emplacements were also built at this time and these can still be found in various parts of the Nature Reserve.

At its peak ‘Fortress Gibraltar’ housed 681 guns mounted in 110 batteries guarding all land, air and sea approaches to Gibraltar – making Gibraltar truly an indomitable bastion of defence in the region.

Macaque Outline

The Impenetrable Fortress

Discover what made Gibraltar unconquerable through its 14 sieges and into WWII

O’Hara’s Battery
Princess Caroline’s Battery & Military Heritage Centre
Nelson’s Anchorage – 100 Ton Gun

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