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Curtain to South Jumpers Bastion

Ref: HLFP3/005

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 old Seagate, later converted into South Bastion is shown as B on the map. The Fuente del Chorrudo is shown as C.

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.

1733 - Homann Moll Landeras South Mole defences (detail).

1740 - William Test Skinner view of the sea walls from the South.

Curtain to South Jumper’s Bastion

This section of wall extended along the old medieval defensive walls from North Jumper’s Bastion to South Jumper’s Bastion and consisting of an irregular wall intersected by five flanking batteries (4th to 8th Flank) of one gun each. The rest of the Line Wall consisted of merlons from which the infantry could fire from banquettes. Thomas James identifies one of the flanks as Milk House Guard, probably where the 8th Flank Battery was situated. This platform would later be converted into South or Little Jumper’s Bastion to serve as casemates for infantry.

Bravo de Acuña 1627 Plan of Gibraltar shows a fountain called la Fuente del Chorrudo between what is now North Bastion and South Bastion. This small fountain is drawn on the sandy beach just below the then defensive walls. Following the re-alignment of the Line Wall during the 1840’s this fountain now found itself within the defensive ramparts itself and referred to as Jumper’s Well.

4th to 8th Flank Batteries

These flanking batteries consisted of five of the eleven embrasures which according to James, protected the area of the dockyard and New Mole. The British had rebuilt the wall in 1725 but kept it aligned to the previous medieval wall which had deteriorated in places. The Line Wall and flanking batteries is clearly shown in a water colour by William Skinner in 1740 and another by Lieutenant William Sandby Roberts in 1782 called ‘A View of the Grand Attack upon Gibraltar, 13 September 1782’. In the latter, the merlons and banquettes along the Line Wall is clearly depicted. In the 1834 Armament List the following guns were recorded:

4th Flank one 24 pounder carronade

5th Flank one 68 pounder carronade dismounted

6th Flank one 68 pounder carronade

7th Flank one 68 pounder carronade

8th Flank one 68 pounder carronade

1782 - View of Grand Attack Lieutenant William Sandby Roberts detail. This wall would later be re-aligned and re-inforced with North and South Jumpers Bastion.

WO 78 715 Drawings fortifications & works Plan showing progressive improvement of the Line Wall, 1826. The embrasures for the 4th to 8th Flank Batteries are shown along the old wall.

The 1826 Plan for the proposed realignment and improvement of the Line Wall recommended the alignment of the entire wall from Eight Gun Battery (North Jumper’s Bastion) to the fifth tower which was later to become South Jumper’s Bastion. However, it was not until 1847, following recommendations by General Sir John Jones that these proposals were finally implemented. Only one flank was retained, most probably the 7th Flank as the 8th Flank appears to have been used as the base for South Jumper’s Bastion.

South Jumper’s Bastion

See link to South Jumper’s Bastion

Old saluing Battery from Ragged Staff Flank - JJ Sterico 1902.

View of the South from Genoese Battery. The old Saluting Battery is clearly shown.

South Jumpers Bastion Nissen huts  used as temporary accomodation circa 1960's.

Curtain to South Jumpers Bastion Image