The Original Victoria Battery
The original battery was recommended by Sir John Hones in 1841 to be built on the top of what had been the Princess of Wales Batteries. It was almost complete by 1843 and was some 300 yards long with an undulating front. Because of its’ irregular shape it was referred to as the ‘snake in the grass’ battery.
Records shows that in 1850 the Battery mounted fifteen 32-pounder guns
1856 returns show that the battery now has:
- Seven 68-pdr guns
- Eight 32-pdr guns
Return from 1886 show:
- 12.72-inch RML has now been installed, see below
- One 80-pdr RML
- Two 9-inch RMLs
The report of Colonel W.F.D. Jervois in 1868 recommended two 9-inch RML guns be mounted in iron shielded emplacements at the southern end of the gun line. With the building of the 9-inch RML position only seven of the original fifteen open gun emplacements remained. At a later date at least one 80-pdr RML was placed in these open emplacements, and by 1888 there were three of these guns in the battery. The two 9-inch RML guns were subsequently changed for 10-inch RML guns as had been the original recommendation of Colonel Jervios.
By 1892 the three 80-pdr RML guns were removed, followed by the 10-inch guns in 1900.
Victoria Battery, 17.72-inch RML, 100-ton gun
Built between 1878 and 1883 this battery mounted a single 17.72-inch (450 mm) RML gun. A similar battery was built at Rosia, Napier of Magdala Battery. As similar pair of 17.72-inch batteries were built in Malta at the same time, Fort Rinella and Fort Cambridge. Unlike these two Malta positions, those in Gibraltar had no close defences such as a dry ditch and defensible barracks.
The Battery was largely destroyed in 1937 when a new fire station was built on the site. Some of the underground works do survive.
In 1900 Maj. Gen. F.G. Slade recommend that four 9-inch RML High Angle Fire guns be mounted here to engage land targets across Gibraltar Bay. Nothing came of this proposal.
The British had only four 17.72-inch 100 ton guns and these were mounted at:
UK National Archives References
- WO 32/6373 (Report of Maj. Gen. F.G. Slade)