Gibraltar is a British Overseas Territory located at the southern tip of the Iberian Peninsula. It is bordered to the north by Spain; the landscape is dominated by the Rock of Gibraltar at the foot of, a densely populated town area, home to over 30,000 people Gibraltarians. In 1704, Anglo-Dutch forces captured Gibraltar from Spain during the War of the Spanish Succession on behalf of the Habsburg claim to the Spanish throne; the territory was ceded to Great Britain in perpetuity under the Treaty of Utrecht in 1713. During World War II it was an important base for the Royal Navy as it controlled the entrance and exit to the Mediterranean Sea, the Strait of Gibraltar, only 8 miles wide at this naval choke point, it remains strategically important. Today Gibraltar's economy is based on tourism, online gambling, financial services and cargo ship refuelling; the sovereignty of Gibraltar is a point of contention in Anglo-Spanish relations because Spain asserts a claim to the territory. Gibraltarians rejected proposals for Spanish sovereignty in a 1967 referendum and, in a 2002 referendum, the idea of shared sovereignty was rejected.
Evidence of Neanderthal habitation in Gibraltar from around 50,000 years ago has been discovered at Gorham's Cave. The caves of Gibraltar continued to be used by Homo sapiens after the final extinction of the Neanderthals. Stone tools, ancient hearths and animal bones dating from around 40,000 years ago to about 5,000 years ago have been found in deposits left in Gorham's Cave. Numerous potsherds dating from the Neolithic period have been found in Gibraltar's caves of types typical of the Almerian culture found elsewhere in Andalusia around the town of Almería, from which it takes its name. There is little evidence of habitation in the Bronze Age, when people had stopped living in caves. During ancient times, Gibraltar was regarded by the peoples of the Mediterranean as a place of religious and symbolic importance; the Phoenicians were present for several centuries since around 950 BC using Gorham's Cave as a shrine to the genius loci, as did the Carthaginians and Romans after them. Gibraltar was known as Mons Calpe, a name of Phoenician origin.
Mons Calpe was considered by the ancient Greeks and Romans as one of the Pillars of Hercules, after the Greek legend of the creation of the Strait of Gibraltar by Heracles. There is no known archaeological evidence of permanent settlements from the ancient period, they settled at the head of the bay in. The town of Carteia, near the location of the modern Spanish town of San Roque, was founded by the Phoenicians around 950 BC on the site of an early settlement of the native Turdetani people. After the collapse of the Western Roman Empire, Gibraltar came under the control of the Vandals, who crossed into Africa at the invitation of Boniface, the Count of the territory; the area formed part of the Visigothic Kingdom of Hispania for 300 years, from 414 until 711 AD. Following a raid in 710, a predominantly Berber army under the command of Tariq ibn Ziyad crossed from North Africa in April 711 and landed somewhere in the vicinity of Gibraltar. Tariq's expedition led to the Islamic conquest of most of the Iberian peninsula.
Mons Calpe was renamed the Mount of Tariq, subsequently corrupted into Gibraltar. In 1160 the Almohad Sultan Abd al-Mu'min ordered that a permanent settlement, including a castle, be built, it received the name of Medinat al-Fath. The Tower of Homage of the Moorish Castle remains standing today. From 1274 onwards, the town was fought over and captured by the Nasrids of Granada, the Marinids of Morocco and the kings of Castile. In 1462 Gibraltar was captured by 1st Duke of Medina Sidonia. After the conquest, Henry IV of Castile assumed the additional title of King of Gibraltar, establishing it as part of the comarca of the Campo Llano de Gibraltar. Six years Gibraltar was restored to the Duke of Medina Sidonia, who sold it in 1474 to a group of 4350 conversos from Cordova and Seville and in exchange for maintaining the garrison of the town for two years, after which time they were expelled, returning to their home towns or moving on to other parts of Spain. In 1501 Gibraltar passed back to the Spanish Crown, Isabella I of Castile issued a Royal Warrant granting Gibraltar the coat of arms that it still uses.
In 1704, during the War of the Spanish Succession, a combined Anglo-Dutch fleet, representing the Grand Alliance, captured the town of Gibraltar on behalf of the Archduke Charles of Austria in his campaign to become King of Spain. Subsequently most of the population left the town with many settling nearby; as the Alliance's campaign faltered, the 1713 Treaty of Utrecht was negotiated, which ceded control of Gibraltar to Britain to secure Britain's withdrawal from the war. Unsuccessful attempts by Spanish monarchs to regain Gibraltar were made with the siege of 1727 and again with the Great Siege of Gibraltar, during the American War of Independence. Gibraltar became a key base for the Royal Navy and played an important role prior to the Battle of Trafalgar and during the Crimean War of 1854–56, because of its strategic location. In the 18th century, the peacetime military garrison fluctuated in numbers from a minimum of 1,100 to a maximum of 5,000; the first half of the 19th century saw a significant increase of population to more t
Bristol Hotel, Gibraltar
Bristol Hotel is Gibraltar's oldest hotel. It is located on Cathedral Square in Gibraltar, next to the Church of England Cathedral. Established in 1894 the 19th century, it occupies a white colonial building with swimming pool and garden, located to the south of Cathedral of St. Mary the Crowned, next to the Gibraltar Museum; the hotel includes a subtropical garden. During World War II, it served as the headquarters of the Royal Air Force and of a squadron of British flying boats and served as a temporary residence for British officers in transit, it is one of many European hotels named Bristol, after the extensive travels of the wealthy Frederick Hervey, 4th Earl of Bristol. The hotel was established in the 19th century and was named after Frederick Hervey, 4th Earl of Bristol, an extensive traveller of Europe. Prior to the opening of The Rock Hotel in 1932, it was regarded as Gibraltar's flagship hotel. In September 1899, Admiral George Dewey, who led the United States Navy at the Battle of Manila Bay, stayed at the hotel before his return to the United States that month.
The New York Times reported the following on 6 September 1899: "Admiral Dewey spent most of the day at the Hotel Bristol where he is living ashore, receiving a constant stream of visitors. He has declined all dinner and public invitations, as he is suffering from indigestion."In 1915, Princess Salm Salm, the wife of a German prince and the eldest daughter of Archduke Friedrich, Duke of Teschen, lived at the hotel as a guest of the Queen of Spain. Her husband, Prince Emmanuel Salm, had been detained while hunting big game in Africa and was held as a prisoner of war in Gibraltar upon the outbreak of World War I. Princess Salm Salm left her five children in Austria to be close to her husband. According to some accounts, Princes Salm Salm was considered a British prisoner in Gibraltar. In 1916, the prince and princess were released as part of a prisoner exchange negotiated by the King of Spain. In the spring of 1928, Rear Admiral Bernard Collard stayed at the Bristol during the court martial of Captain Kenneth Dewar after the notorious incident that the contemporary press dubbed "The Royal Oak Mutiny".
Following the court martial, Dewar apologized to Collard in the dining room of the BristolIn April 1920 The Prime Minister Lloyd George who had landed from the P&O liner Naldara, accompanied by Miss Lloyd George, Lord Riddel, Sir Maurice Hankey, Mr. Davies and Miss Stephenson had lunch at the Bristol Hotel. In April 1931 Don Juan de Borbon Age 18, son of King Alfonso XIII of Spain, a student at the Naval School at San Fernando together with his professor Capitain de Corbeta Fernando Abarzuza, arrived in Gibraltar by Spanish torpedo boat No.16. Arriving at 8.00am. They stayed at the Bristol Hotel, where he remained until invited by the Governor to stay at Government House. In September 1935, a recruiting drive was held at the hotel with the prospects increasing for war in East Africa arising out of the Abyssinia Crisis; the Second Italo-Abyssinian War broke out several days with the Italian invasion of Abyssinia. In October 1938, General John J. Pershing's 73-year-old cousin, Dr. Edward Hamilton Pershing, recovered at the hotel after contracting smallpox while traveling aboard the British ocean liner Strathmore.
During World War II, the Bristol Hotel was the headquarters of No. 200 Group of the RAF Coastal Command. Military officers in transit utilised the hotel during the war, including some working for the SOE; the war conditions at the hotel were markedly different from the experience of those living in Great Britain as there was no blackout and steaks were on the menu. The hotel declined after World War II. In 1954, one visitor described their room as "roved to be a cheerless, bare place with an lithograph of Queen Victoria hanging on the wall and two camp beds". During the early 1960s, work was done on the hotel to add hot water. During the part of the 1960s, the hotel improved the kitchen and pool by making both larger, by working with and improving the garden club. Bristol Hotel, Gibraltar Official website
Parson's Lodge Battery
Parson's Lodge Battery is a coastal battery and fort in the British Overseas Territory of Gibraltar. The Moors had been in Gibraltar, the Spanish had occupied The Rock for over 250 years. In 1704, the British took possession and, by 1720, they had installed a pair each of 18-pounder and 12-pounder guns. By 1744, there were over 20 guns around Rosia Bay. Parson's Lodge Battery was named the 9th Rosia Battery; the Parson's Lodge name is first recorded in 1761 and reputedly refers to the dwelling of the parson of a church and hermitage named St. John the Green. In early October 1840, Major-General John Thomas Jones arrived to inspect the defences of Gibraltar, he remained on the rock until June 1841. Jones advised on improvements for Parson's Lodge Battery, which caused eight guns to be installed in 1842. At the height of its military importance, the battery had three 10-inch rifled muzzle-loading guns that guarded the approaches to Rosia Bay, the only natural harbour on The Rock; the guns were installed in 1884.
These guns fired a 400-pound shell over two and a half miles. Gibraltar Shields, which consisted of thick layers of iron around thick teak planks, protected the guns; the shields used bolts that were protected against abnormal loads as they included wooden bushes and had corners filed away to prevent them being snapped when resisting an enemy's shell. Beneath the fort lies a narrow tunnel that at one time housed a one-metre gauge railway but, now a road tunnel; the tunnel was one of two created to take large quantities of quarried stone from Camp Bay to the harbour's South Mole when it was constructed in the 1880s. The battery was used during both World Wars and, in 1941 it had anti-aircraft and anti-tank guns as well as anti-aircraft searchlights installed; the military abandoned the battery in the 1950s. Gibraltar Heritage Trust extensively restored the battery in 1994, whose grounds now include a field centre belonging to the Gibraltar Museum. There is a wall; this wall and the Machicouli Gallery above Camp Bay are both List A items and are protected by the Gibraltar Heritage Trust Act, which transferred these and many other assets to the Gibraltar Heritage Trust in 1989.
From 1898 to 1956 these buildings housed 90 cm searchlights, which were intended to illuminate enemy ships. Each light was 200 million candlepower and a concentrated "pencil" beam could be projected 5,000 yards. Known as Lower Parsons. From April 1941 to the end of World War II, a 6 pdr. gun was positioned here to cover the landing places in Rosia Bay. It fired a 6 pounds shell 4,000 yards. From about 1725 to 1840 a smooth bore gun was positioned here to cover Camp Bay. At one stage it was a 24-pounder firing; these guns were placed for use against enemy forces attempting to land in Little Bays. They were mounted on concrete blocks as opposed to the pedestal mounting in 2 above; the threshold to position 7 records that it was completed on Christmas Eve 1941 by the Somerset Light Infantry. As described in 4 above. At one stage, this gun would have been a 9 pounder firing a shot of that weight 1,400 yards. There were several of these shelters at Parson's Lodge, providing cover for all personnel not manning fire positions.
They were known as "elephant shelters" from the shape of the corrugated iron which formed the basis of their construction. This fire position was occupied by a Vickers Medium Machine Gun, designed to fire.303" ammunition, the same bore as a service rifle, at a rate of 500 rounds per minute. The flanking positions here were manned by rifle men armed with.303 short magazine Lee–Enfields. This contained two MMGs and two SMLE apertures in the cliff face overlooking possible enemy landing areas in Camp and Little Bays; the wall in which this stone is set marks the physical boundary between this Royal Artillery Battery and the Royal Naval Victualling Yard, built in 1808. This large limestone construction replaced its predecessors about 1842 in accordance with recommendations of Major-General John Thomas Jones, was surmounted, at the time, by eight guns. By 1873, the battery had been adapted to take 3 x 18 ton 10" RML guns; the corridor in front serviced the latter. 400 lb 10" solid armour piercing projectiles were stored here.
At one stage position 19 was a "side arms store" - in lay parlance, a tool shed. Stringent precautions were taken to prevent accidental detonation in the cartridge stores; these included "spark free" copper fittings, rope shoes and the obvious measure of lighting magazines through plate glass fronted passages or niches. The oil lamps were serviced in this room. There were two types of cartridge 44 lb. and 70 lb contained in bags and tins. At the end of this corridor was an apparatus for hoisting shells to the guns above. Cartridges and Projectiles were stored, ready for use, in these four limestone buildings; the northern most contained hoist apparatus for lifting shells from the storage magazines below. It was surmounted, by a Bren gun position - since removed. No 2 had a hoist and was surmounted from 1963 until 1956 with a 90 cm anti aircraft searchlight; this AASL was 200 million condlepower and could project a concentrated beam 20,000 feet. No 3 was surmounted by a 3" anti aircraft rocket projector, installed on 16 October 1942 and since removed.
No 4 is still surmounte
Spain the Kingdom of Spain, is a country located in Europe. Its continental European territory is situated on the Iberian Peninsula, its territory includes two archipelagoes: the Canary Islands off the coast of Africa, the Balearic Islands in the Mediterranean Sea. The African enclaves of Ceuta, Peñón de Vélez de la Gomera make Spain the only European country to have a physical border with an African country. Several small islands in the Alboran Sea are part of Spanish territory; the country's mainland is bordered to the south and east by the Mediterranean Sea except for a small land boundary with Gibraltar. With an area of 505,990 km2, Spain is the largest country in Southern Europe, the second largest country in Western Europe and the European Union, the fourth largest country in the European continent. By population, Spain is the fifth in the European Union. Spain's capital and largest city is Madrid. Modern humans first arrived in the Iberian Peninsula around 35,000 years ago. Iberian cultures along with ancient Phoenician, Greek and Carthaginian settlements developed on the peninsula until it came under Roman rule around 200 BCE, after which the region was named Hispania, based on the earlier Phoenician name Spn or Spania.
At the end of the Western Roman Empire the Germanic tribal confederations migrated from Central Europe, invaded the Iberian peninsula and established independent realms in its western provinces, including the Suebi and Vandals. The Visigoths would forcibly integrate all remaining independent territories in the peninsula, including Byzantine provinces, into the Kingdom of Toledo, which more or less unified politically and all the former Roman provinces or successor kingdoms of what was documented as Hispania. In the early eighth century the Visigothic Kingdom fell to the Moors of the Umayyad Islamic Caliphate, who arrived to rule most of the peninsula in the year 726, leaving only a handful of small Christian realms in the north and lasting up to seven centuries in the Kingdom of Granada; this led to many wars during a long reconquering period across the Iberian Peninsula, which led to the creation of the Kingdom of Leon, Kingdom of Castile, Kingdom of Aragon and Kingdom of Navarre as the main Christian kingdoms to face the invasion.
Following the Moorish conquest, Europeans began a gradual process of retaking the region known as the Reconquista, which by the late 15th century culminated in the emergence of Spain as a unified country under the Catholic Monarchs. Until Aragon had been an independent kingdom, which had expanded toward the eastern Mediterranean, incorporating Sicily and Naples, had competed with Genoa and Venice. In the early modern period, Spain became the world's first global empire and the most powerful country in the world, leaving a large cultural and linguistic legacy that includes more than 570 million Hispanophones, making Spanish the world's second-most spoken native language, after Mandarin Chinese. During the Golden Age there were many advancements in the arts, with world-famous painters such as Diego Velázquez; the most famous Spanish literary work, Don Quixote, was published during the Golden Age. Spain hosts the world's third-largest number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Spain is a secular parliamentary democracy and a parliamentary monarchy, with King Felipe VI as head of state.
It is a major developed country and a high income country, with the world's fourteenth largest economy by nominal GDP and sixteenth largest by purchasing power parity. It is a member of the United Nations, the European Union, the Eurozone, the Council of Europe, the Organization of Ibero-American States, the Union for the Mediterranean, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, the Schengen Area, the World Trade Organization and many other international organisations. While not an official member, Spain has a "Permanent Invitation" to the G20 summits, participating in every summit, which makes Spain a de facto member of the group; the origins of the Roman name Hispania, from which the modern name España was derived, are uncertain due to inadequate evidence, although it is documented that the Phoenicians and Carthaginians referred to the region as Spania, therefore the most accepted etymology is a Semitic-Phoenician one.
Down the centuries there have been a number of accounts and hypotheses: The Renaissance scholar Antonio de Nebrija proposed that the word Hispania evolved from the Iberian word Hispalis, meaning "city of the western world". Jesús Luis Cunchillos argues that the root of the term span is the Phoenician word spy, meaning "to forge metals". Therefore, i-spn-ya would mean "the land where metals are forged", it may be a derivation of the Phoenician I-Shpania, meaning "island of rabbits", "land of rabbits" or "edge", a reference to Spain's location at the end of the Mediterranean. The word in question means "Hyrax" due to Phoenicians confusing the two animals. Hispania may derive from the poetic use of the term Hesperia, reflecting the Greek perception of Italy as a "western land" or "land of the setting sun" (Hesperia
St. Jago's Arch
St. Jago's Arch is a historic sandstone arch in the British Overseas Territory of Gibraltar, it is the original entrance to a 16th-century Spanish church located at the southern limits of the old town. The ornate sandstone arch is set into the western façade of St. Jago's Barracks at the southern end of Main Street, near Southport Gates; the arch is all. When the British converted the church into military stores, following the 1704 Capture of Gibraltar, the arch was kept and set into the façade of the larger barracks, it was once thought that the arch had been relocated to St. Jago's Barracks from the Spanish: Iglesia de Nuestra Señora de la Cabeza in Villa Vieja, within the precinct of the Moorish Castle, but it has since been proven that this was a misunderstanding and that the arch has always been in situ. Anton van den Wyngaerde's 1567 detailed panoramic sketch of Gibraltar and its bay depicts the Hermitage of Our Lady of the Rosary at the southern limits of the city walls. St. Jago's Arch is defined as a Category B Listed Structure by the Government of Gibraltar under section 40 of the Gibraltar Heritage Trust Act of 1989.
On 26 June 2013, Minister for Culture and Heritage Steven Linares MP, announced in his budget speech that a conservation project being carried out on the walls surrounding Southport Gates was being extended to include the restoration of St. Jago's Arch; the project will include information and lighting of the monument
Europa Point Lighthouse
The Europa Point Lighthouse referred to as the Trinity Lighthouse at Europa Point and the Victoria Tower or La Farola in Llanito, is a lighthouse at Europa Point, on the southeastern tip of the British Overseas Territory of Gibraltar, on the southern end of the Iberian Peninsula, at the entrance to the Mediterranean Sea. Europa Lighthouse was inaugurated on 1 August 1841 in a brief ceremony witnessed by about 10,000 people; the first upgrade of the lighthouse occurred in 1864, when the single-wick lamp was replaced with a Chance Brothers four-wick burner, with further changes in 1875 and in 1894 when the amount of light emitted was increased. A three incandescent mantle burner was added in 1905. Following further modernisation in the 20th century, the lighthouse was automated in 1994. Europa Point Lighthouse is operated by Trinity House; the cylindrical tower is painted white, with a wide red horizontal band in the middle. The lighthouse has a height of 20 metres and is 49 metres above the high-water mark, has a white light that occults every ten seconds.
The Gibraltar Amateur Radio Society operates from the lighthouse during the third weekend of August each year. The lighthouse's beacon may soon be retired. Known as the Trinity Lighthouse at Europa Point and the Victoria Tower, the Europa Point Lighthouse, of classic British design, first underwent construction in 1838. Sir Alexander George Woodford and Commander-in-Chief of Gibraltar, set the first stone for the lighthouse's foundation on 26 April 1838, with the aid of the Masonic Order of Gibraltar; the inscription read: This foundation-stone of a light-house, erected by order of the colonial government of her Majesty Victoria, Queen of Great Britain and Ireland and their dependencies, in the first year of her reign, was laid on the 26th day of April, A. D. 1838, A. L. 5838, with military and masonic honours, by his Excellency Major-General Sir Alexander Woodford, K. C. B. &c. governor and commander-in-chief of the town and garrison of Gibraltar, assisted by the Rev. W. E. T. Burrow, D. D. F. R.
S. Provincial Grand Master, for the protection of Mediterranean commerce, the saving of human life, the honour of the British name. A brief ceremony commemorated the event, witnessed by about 10,000 people. Construction of the lighthouse was completed in 1841, was inaugurated according to schedule on 1 August that year; the first lighting of the Europa Point Lighthouse drew an audience of more than 2,000 people. To navigate the Bay of Gibraltar prior to the opening of the lighthouse sailors were dependent on the light emitted by the Shrine of Our Lady of Europe, Roman Catholic shrine, a mosque built after the victory of King Ferdinand IV of Spain over the Moors at the 1309 siege, they expressed their gratitude by leaving supplies of oil at the chapel, which encouraged the continued burning of the lights. At the time of the opening of the lighthouse in 1841, a fixed light was emitted by an oil lamp with one wick; the intensity of the light was increased by a combination of a dioptric fixed lens and catoptric mirrors.
On 25 April 1843, lighting was upgraded to improve visibility from Sandy Bay, in 1854, the lighthouse had a reported visibility of 16 miles. Repairs and alterations were made to the lighthouse in 1863-64 by engineer Henry Norris, when the single-wick lamp was replaced with a Chance Brothers four-wick burner, as well as a new lens; the improvements included a red arc of light over the hazardous Pearl Rock region. An additional upgrade was made in 1875 when the lamp was switched out for a four-wick mineral oil burner. In 1894, the lighthouse was further altered to increase the amount of light emitted; the four-wick burner and mirrors were exchanged for a Douglass burner with eight wicks and an improved lantern. The characteristic of the light changed from fixed to occulting. A foghorn was installed, with two quick blasts every five minutes; the eight-wick burner was exchanged for a three incandescent mantle burner in 1905. In 1923, the burner was replaced by a Hood petroleum vapour burner with one mantle.
Between 1954 and 1956, further extensive changes were made, the introduction of electric lighting further improved visibility. A much more powerful, revolving lens system was utilised for the primary optic, a second light below the main light was included to cast a fixed red light to cover the Pearl Rock region; the height of the tower was increased by 6 feet. The lighthouse is strategically located at the southeastern tip of the Rock of Gibraltar at Europa Point, between the Atlantic and Mediterranean, rising to 49 metres above the high-water mark; the Mediterranean is to the east, the Bay of Gibraltar to the northwest, the Strait of Gibraltar to the southwest. The lighthouse is locally known as "La Farola" in Llanito, Gibraltar's spoken vernacular; the lighthouse was automated in February 1994. The extant optics were complemented with a three position lampchanger; the foghorn was changed to an electric model, with a directional 500 Hz emitter stack, installed on the gallery of the lantern room.
The active lighthouse has a 19 metres masonry tower with gallery. The tower is painted white, with a single wide red horizontal band in the middle; the lighthouse has a white light. There is a continuous red light as well as an occulting red light, on for 5.8 seconds and off for 4.2 seconds. In addition, a foghorn emits a blast every twenty seconds. In February 2014 the Gibraltar Football Association unveiled its plans for the Europa Point Stadium, a proposed UEFA Category 4 mul
Rosia Water Tanks
The Rosia Water Tanks were large water tanks built at the turn of the nineteenth century at Rosia Bay in the British Overseas Territory of Gibraltar. They were constructed based on the recommendation by Admiral John Jervis, 1st Earl of St Vincent that the Victualling Yard complex be relocated to Rosia Bay; the complex allowed Royal Navy vessels to obtain both water at one site. The Rosia Water Tanks remained in the possession of the Ministry of Defence until 2004, at which time they were transferred to the Government of Gibraltar. Despite local and international criticism, a court case brought by the Gibraltar Heritage Trust, the tanks were demolished in 2006 to make way for affordable housing; when developer OEM International's funding proved insufficient to complete the project the government repossessed the site. John Jervis, 1st Earl St Vincent, Admiral in Charge of the Mediterranean Fleet, made recommendations in 1799 concerning the location of the Victualling Yard in Gibraltar. St Vincent advised the Victualling Yard be relocated from the Old Mole area to Rosia Bay so that both water and food could be provided to Royal Navy vessels from one site.
Governor O'Hara did not approve of St Vincent's plan because he proposed to finance it by selling the naval stores at Waterport and Irish Town. However St Vincent won. Not only did the site allow access to the bay, the presence of Parson's Lodge Battery afforded protection from gunfire; the Victualling Yard complex, including the Victualling Yard, Rosia Water Tanks, Rosia Mole, was constructed at the turn of the nineteenth century, the tanks begun in 1799 and finished in 1804. The Rosia Water Tanks consisted of six parallel underground chambers built by contractor Giovanni Maria Boschetti adjacent to the Victualling Yard of bricks brought from Britain and sand-lime mortar waterproofed; the roofs of the Victualling Yard served as a catchment directing rain to a settlement tank, purified by flowing it successively from one tank to the next. The lowest tank was sufficiently high to gravity feed vessels berthed at Rosia Mole. Hoses were used to supply vessels within Rosia Bay, a lighter barge those anchored off it in Gibraltar Harbour.
The Victualling Yard complex, including the tanks, enabled Vice Admiral Horatio Nelson to maintain his fleet in the Mediterranean. Four days before the 1805 Battle of Trafalgar Lord Nelson notified Rear Admiral John Knight of a water shortage aboard his flagship, HMS Victory, requesting he keep the matter to himself; that letter to Knight, written with Nelson's left hand, as he had lost his right hand, went up for auction at Sotheby's in July 2010. Nelson died during the battle. Afterward Victory was anchored. In addition repairing their ship, the sailors replenished their supplies of water; the vessel returned to England with Nelson's body. The tanks were in sufficient condition in the 1950s the navy constructed Rosia Distillery adjacent to the Rosia Cottages, it supplied water from the tanks to lighters. The tanks provided the community with water into the late twentieth century, they remained in the possession of the Ministry of Defence through the end of the twentieth century. The Rosia Water Tanks were utilised by the Ministry of Defence until April 2004, at which time they were transferred to the Government of Gibraltar.
The Gibraltar Heritage Trust sought a legal remedy when the government planned to demolish the tanks and construct a building offering affordable housing, Nelson's View, underground car parking at the site. During a visit permitted by the courts in January 2006, historian Lionel Culatto assessed the tanks and found them to be in good condition. However, shortly thereafter, the Gibraltar Heritage Trust voted to drop its court case due to fears of the mounting legal costs; the vote prompted the resignations of the trust's chairman, Joe Ballantine, another board member, Denis King, called into question the ability of the Gibraltar Heritage Trust to accomplish its stated mission. In February 2006, Marcus Binney, Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of London and Architecture Correspondent of The Times, wrote about the controversy. In his column, "Nelson caves to be turned into a car park," Binney reported that: Under heavy pressure from the Gibraltar Government and the Irish development company OEM International, the Gibraltar Heritage Trust withdrew last week an injunction delaying the construction of a block of 200 flats on top of the Rosia Water Tanks.
Dr. Ann Coats, Secretary of the Naval Dockyards Society and author of History of the Rosia Water Tanks, described the Rosia Water Tanks as: A unique engineering monument to Royal Navy ingenuity and Gibraltarian craftsmanship, transforming Gibraltar into an invincible fortress, they enabled Nelson and Admiral Lord St Vincent to maintain their fleets in the Mediterranean, blockading Toulon and vanquishing the French at the Battle of the Nile. Appeals were made to the Governor of Gibraltar, Sir Francis Richards, to list the tanks with the Gibraltar Heritage Trust. Despite the pleas, neither the tanks nor the Victualling Yard were listed in 2006. Listing was limited to the entrance to the yard; the Rosia Water Tanks were demolished in August 2006 despite strong opposition. The government's actions were the subject of international criticism. Jonathan Coad a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of London, is with English Heritage; the author of The Royal Dockyards 1690-1850, he is considered to be a preeminent authority on Royal Naval Dockyard architecture.
He contacted the Naval Dockyards Society, expressing his dismay over "the destruction of the vaulted underground storage tanks, which were a remarkable construction feat", continued that "equally s