Montague Bastion was one of the original bastions, and along with King’s Bastion, provided defence of the main harbour and land approaches. Extensively developed over the years because it could provide fire support both to the North Front and towards the Old Mole and harbour areas.
Originally the Spanish Bastion or Platform of Saint Andrew. The British rebuilt the bastion between 1730 and 1738 and initially it mounted nine iron 18-pdr guns.
As a result of the Sir John Jones report of 1841 the bastion was remodelled and by 1859 mounted some twenty-nine guns. Returns showed the armament as:
- One 64-pdr
- Thirteen 32-pdr
- Six 32-pdr Carronade
- Nine 32-pdr
In addition, Montague Counterguard lying to the west of the Bastion mounted a further thirteen 32-pdrs and three 10-iinch Howitzers in 1856, although significantly reduced over the next three decades.
About 1872 a cavalier was built on the tope of the bastion providing fire north towards the Inundation.
Between 1866 and 1877 three 10-ins, 18-ton RML guns were installed in a casemated bastion on the south-west flank of the bastion. These casemated positions had iron shields and iron roofs over the front part. The expense magazines were on the same level as the gun platform. This installation of the cost over £6,234 with an additional £1,300 for the overhead iron cover. These three guns worked in conjunction with the two guns on Orange Bastion to provided overlapping fields of fire covering the inner harbour area just south of the Old Mole. The 10-inch guns were removed about 1907.
During WW2 the embrasures were bricked up and concrete platform installed in the gun embrasures so that machine guns could be mounted there.
The whole area of Montague Bastion was restored in 2018.
Plans have been found for a two gun 12-pdr QF Battery, but they are not dated. They show that two 12-pdr Q.F. guns were mounted above the old 10-inch emplacement and the location of the battery can still be seen. In about 1897 a battery of two 12-pdr 18-cwt Q.F. guns was mounted on the roof of the old RML casemates and traces of this battery can still be seen.
The other 10-inch RML gun batteries in Gibraltar are:
- Engineer Battery, 1 gun
- King’s Bastion, 4 guns
- Montague Bastion,3 guns
- Orange Bastion, 2 guns
- Parson’s Lode (Rosia No.9), 3 guns
- South Bastion, 3 guns
The other 12-pdr 18-cwt gun batteries in Gibraltar were at:
- Buena Vista, 2 guns
- Devil’s Gap Battery, 2 guns
- Engineer Battery, 3 guns
- Montague Bastion, 2 guns
- North Mole Elbow Battery, 2 guns
- Upper Union Gallery, 2 guns
UK National Archives References
- WO 78/3874 (12-pdr guns)