The bastion became a refuge, at least, to one of the Rock’s families during the worse of the bombing of the City during the Great Siege. Mrs Catherine Upton, whose husband Lieutenant John Upton was serving in Gibraltar, at the time, with the Royal Manchester Volunteers, wrote a short account of her experiences on the Rock during the course of the siege. She recorded that on the 12th April 1781, following the news of the arrival of a relief convoy ‘began the most furious bombardment ever heard of. Terror and consternation deprived me for a minute of sense and motion. Our house was one of the nearest to the Spanish lines. I seized my children, and run with them towards Montague’s bastion, which I knew was bomb-proof. An officer of the 58th regiment met me, saying “For God’s sake, madam, where are you going? Do you not know you are going nearer the enemy’s fire? Stoop with your children under this covered way!” Six-and-twenty pounders without number went over my head. I presented my little ones to heaven, and, in an agony of prayer, besought the Almighty to preserve us.
‘I then had the courage to advance towards Montague’s bastion, and, having walked down a few steps, my strength failed me, and I fell down the rest. Fortunately, I received no hurt, and ran, or rather flew into the soldiers’ barracks.’ Mrs Upton, together with her children, remained within this shelter for the following three days, providentially surviving the horrendous bombing which destroyed most of the City.