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Curtain to North Jumpers Bastion

Ref: HLFP3/004

The Line Wall

This is part of the curtain wall that faces out to sea and runs all the way south from the South Bastion to New Mole which the Spaniards called La Muralla Real. A bird’s eye view elevations and plans prepared in 1627 by Don Luis Bravo de Acuña shows a number of defensive platforms, towers and gates along this section of wall which extended from the Baluarte de Nuestra Señora del Rosario [site of the present day South Bastion], to the Torre del Tuerto. The pentagonal Baluarte del Duque de Arcos [later re-modelled as North Jumper’s Bastion] was sited in between these two formidable bastions which projected out to sea to dominate the area directly in front of the Arenales Colorados [the ed Sands]. The Line Wall continued all the way to the New Mole by following the natural contours of the bay protected by a number of towers, flanking positions and high defensive walls.

1627 - Luis Bravo de Acuna showing the curtain walls extending South. The Baluarte del Duque de Arcos is shown as a triangle projecting out to sea (to the left of B on map).

By the 17th Century much of this section of the Line Wall, dating back from Moorish times had fallen into a state of disrepair and had even collapsed in certain parts. In 1662 the engineers Genaro Mariá Aflito and Octaviano Meni proposed plans for new fortifications along the wall, including reinforcing the Torre del Tuerto to protect the New Mole built in 1516.

Following the capture of the Rock in August 1704 by Anglo-Dutch forces, the sea wall curtain was hastily repaired, but remained intrinsically the same as the Spanish had left it. It was not until after the Great Siege that the British started paying serious attention to repairing and further fortifying this section of wall. Behind these defences British engineers later constructed a number of terraced artillery placements behind the Line Wall which dominated this strategically important area. These artillery defences became known as the First South District and consisted of the following:

First South District: Ragged Staff Head, Ragged Staff Line Wall – 1st Flank to 3rd Flank, New Saluting Battery, Jumper’s (North) or Eight Gun Battery, Ragged Staff Line Wall – 4th Flank to 8th Flank, Jumper’s (south), Grand Parade, Lady Augusta’s, Prince of Wales Lines, Cumberland’s, Prince Edward’s, New Mole Head, New Mole Fort, Prince William’s, Engineers, 1st Rosia, 2nd Rosia, 3rd Rosia, 4th Rosia, 5th Rosia, 6th Rosia, 7th Rosia, 8th Rosia, 9th, Rosia, 10th Rosia, 11th Rosia, Buena Vista, Europa Pass 1st, Europa Pass 2nd.

Dominic Serres the Elder RA, Gibraltar relieved by Sir George Rodney, 1780, 1780-1782.

Curtain to North Jumper’s Bastion

This section of wall extended along the old medieval defensive walls from Ragged Staff Flank along the New Saluting Battery (La Bateria) to North Jumper’s Bastion.

See Link to Ragged Staff Flank

Ragged Staff Line Wall – 1st Flank to 3rd Flank

According to James, in 1755 there were two flanks between Ragged Staff Wharf and Eight Gun Battery. Upon one was a crane to lift stores from the wharf and the other had one embrasure. In the 1826 Plan, four embrasures can be seen, one facing West and the rest towards the South. The 1826 Plan proposed the erection of a bastion (later Ragged Staff Flank) but this proposal was not implemented at the time.

In the 1834 armament List the following armament is recorded:

1st Flank - two 68-pdr. carronades.

2nd Flank – one 68 pdr. carronade.

3rd Flank – 68-pdr. dismounted.

This section of wall was dismantled in 1842 when Ragged Staff Flank was enlarged to effectively scour the southern flank of the Line Wall.

The Saluting Battery as seen from Ragged Staff Flank.

WO78 715WO 78 715 Drawings fortifications & works Plan showing progressive improvement of the Line Wall, 1826. The proposed construction of Ragged Staff and Flank is shown in yellow.

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.

The Saluting Battery Line Wall Gibraltar by Carter Dibdin.

Queen Victoria's Battery and saluting battery in the background.

North Jumper’s Bastion or Eight Gun Battery

See link to North Jumper’s Bastion

1732 - Moore - Eight Gun Battery.

1860s - Line Wall and Ragged Staff Flank.

Curtain to North Jumpers Bastion Image