This cave was first properly explored in 1867 whenCaptain Frederic Brome, the then Governor of the Military Prison on Windmill Hill, Gibraltar, sought permission from the Governor of Gibraltar to explore this and other like caves with the aim of finding archaeological evidence of the past use of these caves. According to George Busk quoting Captain Frederick Brome in a talk given in the members of the International Congress of Prehistoric Archaeology in 1868:
The cave thus named was the next explored. As it had no name before, I gave it the above, temporarily, from the fact of it having a Figtree growing out of the rocks above its entrance. It is a seaboard cave, situated not far from Martin's Cave, but about 200 feet higher up. There is no regular path to it, but from the polished state of the stalagmite at the entrance, it has evidently been much used at some time.
Fig Tree Cave lies about 3m above Mediterranean Steps with a narrow, low opening, widening into a small chamber. It seems that there are two caves involved but I cannot find any evidence for that other than the following comment by Brome:
There is another cavern, smaller and lower, running nearly parallel to this; and they both seem to meet at the ends, which are too contracted to allow one to pass through; but here no remains were found.
It is said that Simón Susarte a Spanish goatherd, led 500 Spanish troops up the east side of Gibraltar to reclaim the Rock following the Anglo-Dutch Capture of Gibraltar in 1704. The troops spent the night of 10th November 1704 on the east side of the Rock in Fig Tree and Martin's Cave before ascending Middle Hill the next day.
The entrance to the cave is small widening to a shape 1 metre (3.3 ft) high and roughly 2 metres (6.6 ft) by 3 metres (9.8 ft). A path falls away at 40 degrees but ends in a muddy pit. The wildlife in the cave is very similar to nearby Martin's Cave.