Gibraltar Parsons Lodge

Rock Of Gibraltar aerial view

RML Gun position

Rising above the cliff at Camp Bay is one of Gibraltar’s most impressive batteries. A number of well maintained features of the site make it a valuable source of information to military historians. There is a small labyrinth of tunnels which have seen many configurations of guns over the years. Please note, this site is not open to the public.

Please note, Parsons Lodge is not open to the public.

Parson’s Lodge is a mini Gibraltar – a narrow limestone dorsal, running North-South, laced with a labyrinth of underground tunnels and surmounted by a seemingly impregnable battery, which has witnessed the development of coast artillery over the last three centuries.

The Moors, who occupied Gibraltar for 727 years and the Spaniards, who stayed for 266 years, were awake to the strategic importance of Parson’s Lodge. The former built a wall shortly after 1333 and the latter improved it and recorded it in 1627.

When the British arrived in 1704 it was clearly necessary to protect the anchorage immediately north of Parson’s Lodge.

The armament list of 1720 records four guns at Rosia (sic) 2×18 pounders and 2×12 pounders. By 1744 this had risen to 19 guns in Rosia and two, to the South, in Camp Bay. The name Parson’s Lodge first appears in writing, in 1761, in a book in the Garrison Library. By 1771 it appeared, by name, in the armaments list. This name seems to be an irreverent reference to the hermitage and chapel of St. John the Green, situated immediately landward of Parson’s Lodge Rock.

By the end of the nineteenth century Parson’s Lodge was fast becoming a self-sufficient coastal artillery searchlight position – with its own generating facility. However, infantry and artillery returned in the two Great Wars and a further spate of building was undertaken by the second Btn. Somerset Light Infantry, in 1941, to accommodate anti-tank guns, anti-aircraft guns and anti-aircraft searchlights. The site was abandoned by the military in about 1956 and has been used for training exercises spasmodically ever since.

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