Mapping Gibraltar’s Past

An absolutely fascinating exhibition of documents and maps from the Gibraltar Archives are on public display at the Fine Arts Gallery in Casemates Square at the moment. The exhibition, which has been put on to ‘remind’ the public that the archives are there for anyone who’s interested to access and find out more about the history of the Rock we live on.

I’m a bit of a geek when it comes to the history and geography of where I’m living, we’ve moved about quite a bit since we got married and I always like to find out about the place where we call home. 

A chance visit to the Fine Art Gallery on an errand for a friend brought me face to face with some fascinating documents dating from when Gibraltar was ruled by Spain up to the latest 2016 Ordinance Survey map of Gibraltar.

Among the items on display are plans drawn up by the Royal Engineers for the Devil’s Gap Battery (you may remember my post about it A stroll around Gibraltar No. 10: Devil’s Gap Battery). There were also plans of Kings Bastion (now our leisure centre, housing a cinema, bowling alley and ice skating rink).

The exhibition, put on by the Gibraltar National Archives forms part of the department’s outreach programme for this year. The idea being to showcase original documents and digital images of many of the important items stored within the archive.

There are over one hundred maps on display and several thousand available digitally. Some feature battles fought by war ships off the coast of the Rock, the one above shows locations of where missiles landed which were fired from the ships in the Bay. 

Another exhibit  charts the route taken by the Queen and Prince Phillip on their visit to Gibraltar in the 1950s.

An interesting plan drawn up in the 1980s shows all the properties along Main Street, detailing the shops or businesses contained in each and what kind of state each building was in at the time. Either freshly painted, in need of attention or dilapidated!

It looks like the outside of what is now Marks & Spencer needed a clean!

There are even plans from twenty years ago, when a formal garden was planned for Casemates Square in 1996.

If you want to see it for yourself and are in Gibraltar, or will be visiting before the end of the week, you will need to be quick as the exhibition closes on Friday. Do pop in though if you have the chance because it’s really interesting and there are experts on hand to speak to about the exhibits or answer any questions you may have.



9 thoughts on “Mapping Gibraltar’s Past

    1. Hi Alan, it was fascinating but sadly it’s now finished. The maps are all stored at the National Archives though and that’s open to the public, so you may still be able to see them when you come. You may need to make an appointment. 🙂

      1. Okey dokey Thankyou for the update and yes I will make an appointment because I’d love to have a closer look. Fingers crossed I’ll be there May/June time 🙂

Leave a Reply