This is the most visually impressive battery
in Gibraltar, dominating as it does the approaches to Rosia Bay and
Camp Bay. The headland on which it is built was an obvious place for
a battery to protect these two possible landing places, and by 1720
there were two 18 pounders and two 12 pounders in the area.
Parson’s Lodge, left. The nearby Victualling Yard is
also visible in the centre.
It received the name of Parson’s Lodge in the 18th century, perhaps
a reference to nearby religious establishments such as San Juan el Verde.
In 1868 the present impressive stone structure was built, and armed with three
10-inch 18-ton RMLs, each protected by laminated iron embrasures known as
“Gibraltar Shields”, as well as smaller guns facing Rosia and
Camp Bays, set in tunnels under the battery.
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.
There were several personnel shelters at Parson`s Lodge, providing cover
for all those not actually manning fire positions. They were known as
"elephant shelters" from the shape the corrugated iron which formed
the basis of their construction.
During the Second World War several searchlight positions were added,
as well as a Bofors light AA gun. The site was abandoned by the military
in about 1956 and has been used for training exercises periodically ever since.
Further reading: Strong as the Rock of Gibraltar, by Hughes and Migos.
Exchange Publications, 1995.