New Saluting Battery
Each fortress Gibraltar had a number of designated saluting batteries which changed over the years. Before the 14th Siege, the designated Saluting Battery stood on what is now Prince Albert’s Front. After the 14th Siege the Saluting Battery was moved to between Ragged Staff Flank and North Jumper’s Bastion where it was nearer to Grand Parade, where all formal parades were held. During this time, it was customary for Rock Gun to fire the first round of the more important salutes and for all the batteries to take part.
Following the victory at Waterloo, Rock Gun fired the first of a 21-gun salute which was carried from Rock Gun to Willis’s. A further 21 guns fired from the Saluting Battery opposite the Grand parade and a third 21-gun salute was fired from batteries stretched along the Devil’s Bowling Green all the way to the south. The batteries then fired three salvoes of 63 guns each.
In 1834, the Armament List shows the New saluting Battery with twenty-one 18-pdrs. The 1850 List for First South District details four 68-pdrs., four 32-pdrs., four 24-pdrs., and six 18-pdrs.
In 1856, the armament was four 8-inch shell guns, four 32-pdrs., four 24-pdrs., and nine 18-pdrs., but twenty-one 24-pdrs were proposed in its place.
An incident of note occurred at the Saluting Battery on the 18th October 1856. Practice with red-hot shot led to a 32-pdr. burst, shattering the iron garrison standing carriage to pieces, the splinters of which knocked down seven of the gun detachment and wounding Gunners W. Burnet, W. Hitchen and H. Babs. Four pieces of metal, weighing several hundredweight each, were hurled nearly one hundred feet in the air and carried to a distance of three hundred yards from the platform. The breech was thrown to the rear across the public road and killed an ass on which a boy was mounted, although he was miraculously unhurt.
By 1863, the 32-pdrs. had been replaced by twenty-two 24-pdrs., and these were still there in 1885.
By 1897, alterations to the Dockyard and harbour led to a change of location for the Saluting Battery from the Line Wall to a new proposed site at the North end of Gardiner’s Road, right next to Charles V Wall.
Following the removal of the guns along the wall, the platform along this section of the Line Wall was converted into a promenade.