Zoca Flank Bastion
Zoca was originally a small bastion built between the two larger Orange and King’s Bastions. This had been the site of a fortification since Gibraltar’s Moorish period when there was a tower here on the old Moorish city wall. In 1627 when Gibraltar was under Spanish control, the tower was reduced and by the time of the Great Siege (1779-1783) it had become a broad platform incorporating an artillery battery.
Zoca Flank had a new RMLs gun installed between 1877 and 1879, at a cost of £4,095. This 12.5-inch rifled muzzle-loading (RML) gun installed in a casemate built on top of the platform. The gun was protected by an iron shield. The gun mounting was the same as those used on King’s Bastion, Princess Alexandra and Wellington Front (North Bastion).
The 1841 British Plan shows that Zoca Flank was built primarily for barrack accommodation and to provide flanking fire to the north and south. The Catholic Community Centre was built on top of the battery in 1969 after Charles Caruana raised funds for its construction via the Gibraltar International Song Festival.
Although the battery itself remained intact, the 12.5-inch gun was removed from its mounting and relocated to a nearby position on the ground. In 2010 plans to demolish the community centre and expose the battery were announced.
The other 12.5-inch RML guns in Gibraltar were at the following locations.
- Europa Hutment Battery
- Harding’s Battery
- King’s Bastion
- Montague Bastion
- Princess Alexandra Battery
- Wellington Front
- Zoca Flank
King’s Bastion, Princess Alexandra Battery, Wellington Front and Zoca Flank had the gun mounted behind a curved iron shield with two apertures for firing.