Font size






Church Doorways

Ref: HLBP1/024

Two Spanish period doorways, almost identical to each other, have been preserved. The first is located inside the garages at the back of the Convent, now the Governor's residence. The blocked-up archway was formerly the main entrance to the church of the Franciscan monastery which was subsequently, remodelled and enlarged circa 1533. The friars had been granted a considerable plot of land in the less inhabited part of the city, in an area of cultivated land known as the Huerta de Ceberos, at the south end of La Turba where the poorer people of Gibraltar lived. Originally, this piece of land stretched all the way from the present Convent to el Baluarte de Nuestra Señora del Rosario (South Bastion). In 1531, Francisco de Madrid paid for a chapel and for a considerable extension to the earlier Convent. David Devenish, Curator of the Gibraltar Museum described the doorway as follows:

‘…the lower parts of the two Gothic pillars survive in what is now the garage in the back of the convent. They bear on the outer faces a vine scroll, on the inner carved representations of the Franciscan knot. The original entrance to the church lay between these two pillars.’


Franciscan knot detail The Convent West wall.

Vine scroll detail The Convent West wall.

E.R. Kenyon in his book Gibraltar under Moor, Spaniard and Briton described the similarities of the two doorways:

The west doorway has been built up but may still be seen in the stables. Adjoining it there is also in the stables a fine door-way, exactly similar to that which may be seen in Southport Street built into the end wall of St. ]ago’s Barracks. This doorway leads into a series of bombproof shelters built against the side wall of the old nave . . . 


Renaissance style entrance to Franciscan Chapel now Red Cross Office.

Renaissance style entrance to Franciscan Chapel now a storeroom.

The doorway at St. Jago’s Stone Block is all that remains of a small chapel called the Hermitage of Nuestra Senora del Rosario (Our Lady of the Rosary), built circa 1530/40. The doorway is constructed of sandstone in the Renaissance style architecture, encompassing elegant fluted columns, an archway with roundels and an architrave decorated with rosette symbols.

Church doorway at St. Jago's Stone Block

Church Doorways Image