Middle Hill Battery

Posted on November 15, 2020 / 106
Listing Type : Land Battery
Location : Gibraltar

As one of the highest points on the rock this was used extensively for observation purposes by the Military but did have a battery here.

Initially a signal gun was placed here and in 1859 a single gun was mounted here.  In 1900 a battery of six 10-inch high-angle fire RML was mounted on an adjacent site.  The guns were placed in a large gun pit, with two rows of three guns.  The battery was primarily intended to engage land targets on the North Front with a maximum range of some 9,000 yards. It could also be used to engage naval targets with plunging fire.

There were two Position Finding Stations adjacent to the battery:

  • Middle Hill Group with two cells.  Two Position Finding Cells were built adjacent to Middle Hill Battery about 1893, but the exact date of construction is not known. Cell 1 is closest to the battery and the walls remain. PF Cell 2 only has the footprint remaining.
  • Catalan Group, lower down the hill, with two cells. This PF Station was built between 1901 and 1902.  The two cells cost a total £506 and are located just down the slope from Middle Hill Battery.  A set of steps led down from the battery accommodation to the cells, some 1,000ft above sea level. The iron steps have now been removed but can be seen on the cliff edge from the casemated area under Middle Hill Battery.

Middle Hill Royal Artillery Workshop.

Below the battery a building and adjacent cave was used by the Royal Engineers as a workshop area. Built between the 25th November 1899 and 31st March 1900 for a cost of £112. This was a simple square building, protected in a narrow gully.  Now in reasonable condition, although filled with rubble.  This is a small casemated store, located adjacent to the Royal Artillery Workshop in a small gully at Middle Hill. It would appear to have been built about 1900 but this has not been confirmed and the exact use is not known.

Middle Hill Casemates.

Adjacent to the Middle Hill Group of Position Finding Cells there is some casemated barracks.  There is a loop holed wall extending out to the East giving flanking fire along the face of the slope.

Nursery Barracks

Just below Middle Hill Battery is a large Barrack hut with external kitchen and water tank.  This Barrack building is titled Middle Hill Hut on contemporary plans and was used as accommodation for troops working around Middle Hill. It was built between 29th August 1896 and 4th August 1897 and cost a total of £1099, £21 below the estimate.

Original plans show a cookhouse on the north end and a water tank and ablutions on the south end. There is a large open plan barracks. All are in a surprisingly good condition with little apparent modification from the original construction. The troops kit hangers are still there although rusting away.

Presently located in MOD land and therefore not accessible for the general public.

The large 10,000 Gallon octagonal tank  is situated to the South of the barrack block and remains intact. The stencil on the water tank says:

Douglass Bros Ltd

Blandon on Tyne

C & M 1896

 

Middle Hill Observation Post

Just above and to the south of Middle Hill Battery is an observation post dating from the 1890s which have positions looking West and East.

 

During World War 2 a 40-mm Bofors anti-aircraft gun was mounted at Middle Hill.

The High Angle Fire Batteries in Gibraltar were located at:

The UK National Archive references

  1. WO 32/6373
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