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Collin’s Cave, Neolithic site

Ref: HLCGFP4/002

Collins’s cave is situated 420 feet above sea-level on the south-eastern cliffs of Gibraltar between Reservoir Fissure and Middle Hill Cave right above Catalan Bay village. The cave is named after Major Ernest Rokeby Collins, D.S.O of the East Lancashire Regiment who discovered it in the late 19th century. This cave has shown evidence of Neolithic occupation, possibly burials including stone tools, large numbers of bird bones and artefacts.

It is known that a number of specimens found in various caves by the Gibraltar Scientific Society were exhibited in the Garrison Library in three large cases with glass lids. One of these cases contained trays with specimens from Collins’ Cave. These specimens were later transferred to the Gibraltar Museum.

The specimens found at Collin’s Cave were divided into series: one comprising of bones very similar to those found in Sewel’s Cave and another of red brecciated earth containing unidentified bones.

Human remains found at Collin’s Cave were not numerous, consisting principally of metatarsal bones. The associated fauna included the ibex boar, rabbit, ox and deer. The femur ascribed to “a large cat” is probably that of a lynx. Birds are represented by the humerus of an eagle or vulture.

The cave is currently inaccessible without specialist skills so this account is based on reports from the 1960’s.

Collin's Cave entrance obscured by fig tree (Tito Vallejo).

Collin’s Cave, Neolithic site Image