1884 - R. Stewart Patterson - The Streets of Gibraltar
The following article was written by the Rev R. Stewart Patterson who was the Chaplain to H.M. Forces in Gibraltar during the late nineteenth century . It appeared in 1884 in one of those curious publications whose sole intention appears to have been to broaden the reader's mind in every conceivable direction - a Victorian equivalent to a modern '100 amazing things you didn't know' - and probably could very well do without knowing.
Here is the Rev. Patterson's contribution.
Gibraltar Street Nomenclature
The streets of this city for the most part bear English names, which are painted in the usual manner on the corners, and by which they are known by the Garrison and English residents. But besides these appellations there are Spanish names, which are in daily use amongst the Gibraltarians. Many of these date from the period anterior to the capture of the fortress by the British, and may be considered to be preserved in the columns of N & Q. I give the English first, followed by the Spanish, with the translation of the later:-
Arengo's Lane; Callejon del Palacio, Lane of the Palace.
Bell Lane; Callejon del Lazareto, Lane of the Lazar House.
Bomb House Lane; Callejon de la Bomba, Lane of the Bomb or Pump.
Boschetti's Ramp; Escalera del Espino, Stairs of the Thorn.
Cannon Lane; Tras la Iglesia, Behind the Church.
City Mill Lane; Callejon de Cureto Mio (?)
Civil Hospital Lane ; Callejon de San Juan de Dios, Lane of St. John of God.
Cloister Ramp; Callejon del Antiguo Bano, Lane of the Ancient Bath.
Cornwall's Parade; Plaza de la Verdura, Place of the Garden Stuff.
Church Lane; Calle Real ( Part of ), Royal Street.
Convent Place; Placalito del Convent.
Cooperage Lane; Callejon de la Garloza, Lane of the Plane.
College Lane; Callejon de Rizo Lane of Velvet or Curls.
Crutchett's Ramp; La Calera, The Lime Kiln.
Don Place (named after the Governor, General Don).
Danino's Place; Patio de los Caballeros, Court of Knights
Engineer Lane; Calle de los Cordoneros, Street of Lace Makers
Flat Bastion Road; Senda del Moro, Path of the Moor.
George's Lane; Calle del Vicario, Street of the Vicar.
Governor's Street; Calle del Vicario, Street of the Vicar.
Governor's Lane; Callejon de San Francisco.
Governor's Parade; Plaza del Artilleria, Artillery Place.
Gunners' Lane; Callejon de los Canoneros.
Hargrave's Parade ; Plazuela de los Ingenieros, Place of the Engineers.
Horse Barrack Lane; Patio del Catalan, Court of the Catalan.
Hospital Ramp ; Escalera del Ospicio, Stair of the Hospital.
Irish Town; Calle de Santa Aña.
King Street ; Callejon de la Paloma, Lane of the Dove.
King's Yard Lane ; Callejon del Horno del Rey, Lane of the King's Furnace.
Landport; Puerta de la Tierra.
Main Street; Calle Real (part of)
Market Lane; Callejon del Cantarero, Lane of Earthenware dealers.
Market Street; Callejon de la Policia, Police Lane
New Mole Parade ; Plaza del Tuerto, Place of the One-eyed.
Old Mole; Lengua del Diablo, Devil's Tongue.
Parliament Lane; Callejon de los Masones, Lane of Masons.
Portuguese Town; La Calera.
Prince Edward's Gate; Puerta del Gobernor, Gate of the Governor.
Prince Edward's Ramp; Cuesta de Carlo Maria, Hill of Carlo Maria.
Prince Edward's Road ; Camino del Principe.
Secretary's Lane; Callejon del Alcalde, Lane of the Alcaide.
South Port; Puerta de San Rosario.
South Port Street; Calle real (part of).
Town Range; Calle de los Cuarteles, Barrack Street.
Tuckey's Lane; Callejon del Jarro, Lane of the Jar.
Turnbull's Lane; Tras de los Cuartos, Behind the Chambers.
Waterport; Puerta de la Mar.
Waterport Street; Main Street (part of)
Patterson's list is incomplete probably because some of the Spanish versions were not as yet in use while he was in Gibraltar. Here are a few which he left out;
Abecassis Passage; Callejon de la Paciega.
Benzimbra's Lane; Callejon del Moro.
Boschetti's Ramp; Callejon del Tio Pepe.
Commercial Square; Plazuela del Martillo.
Devil's Gap Steps; Escalera del Monte.
Fountail Ramp; Callejon de la Fuente.
Fraser's ramp; Escalera de Benoliel.
Giro's Passage; Callejuel de Zurito.
Gowland's ramp; Callejon del Hospicio.
Lime kiln Road; Calleejon de Dolores Corbe.
Lime kiln Gully; Callejon de Sequi.
Library Gardens; Huerta Riera.
Line Wall; Las Muallas.
Market Lane; Callejon de la Carniceria.
New Passage; Calle Peligro.
Paradise ramp; Escalera de Cardona.
Police Barracks Lane; Callejon de Chiappi
Serfaty's Passage; Callejon de Bobadilla.
Victualling Office Lane; Callejon del Perejil.
Willis Road; Buena Vista.
There are also other variants :
Bell Lane was also known as Callejon de Fonseca.
City Mill Lane as Callejon de las Siete Revueltas.
Cloister Ramp as Los Baños de Scotto.
College Lane as Callejon de Risso (an inhabitant).
Hospital Ramp as Cuesta del Hospital.
Flat Bastion Road as La Cuesta de Mr. Bourne.
Prince Edward's Road as Camino de Sandunga.
Paterson also makes the following observations.
It may be remarked that when the British captured Gibraltar the city consisted of two long parallel streets, running north, south, which were connected by a number of smaller streets or lanes. One of these streets extended from Land Port to the South Port, and was called Calle Real. It now bears four English names, in different portions, Waterport Street, Main Street, Church Street, and South Port Street.
Waterport Street - from an old postcard.
The other great street, Santa Aña, is now called Irish Town, a small portion of its southern extremity being named Market Street.
The city was anciently divided into three distinct parts, enclosed with walls, the gates of which were closed at night. One was called Villa Vieja (the old town) and stood on the present Casemates Parade - this appears to have been the port and business portion of the place.
The second district was named the Barcina, and extended from Calle Santa Aña up the hill towards the Moorish Castle. It contained the residencies of the aristocracy and of the principle inhabitants.
The third portion, La Turba, lay to the south of the old Alameda which was the Grand Parade of the last century, and is the Commercial Square of today. Its population were the hoi polloi of the city, its hewers of wood and drawers of water, and the word itself signifies 'the crowd'. As to the derivation of the other district, La Barcina, I can say nothing, except that the word in Spanish means a sedge-net or a truss of straw.Most commentators agree that Gibraltar originally had three clearly defined districts - la Barcina, Villa Vieja and la Turba. However most of the more well off inhabitants lived in Villa Vieja and not La Barcina as suggested by Patterson. The main building in the 18th century Barcina was the Atarazana, a place where shot was manufactured until it was destroyed during the Great Siege.
According to Tito Benady in his Streets of Gibraltar the origins of the word 'Barcina' can be traced right back to the attack on Moorish Gibraltar by the Conde de Niebla in 1433. The Christians were repulsed and the count in heavy armour was knocked off his horse and drowned on the beach just outside the Casemates while trying gallantly to cover the retreat of his soldiers.
His body was recovered by the defenders who placed it in a wicker basket - or barcina - and hung it over the gate in full view of passersby both on land and by sea. The body remained there until Gibraltar was finally taken nearly thirty years later by the count's grandson and was given a decent burial inside the Tower of Homage and later moved to La Cartuja in Jerez.
The original name of Irish town - which he gives several times as Calle Santa Aña was actually Calle Santa Ana.
1597 Map of Gibraltar showing four areas of Gibraltar, three of them residential. On the left the Old Mole leads into La Barcina followed by Villa Vieja and the Moorish Castle area. To the right the larger neighbourhood of la Turba ( Unknown )
Another word that has puzzled me for some time was given as a name for Convent Place. This word was 'Coquembotelle,' and I was informed by my Gibraltar friend that it was an English name. After a little patient research I found a well-known tavern was formally kept at the head of Convent Place and was called the 'Cock and Bottle', and from this name the mysterious word 'Cocquembotelle' was evolved by the natives.
R. Stewart Patterson, Hale Crescent, Farnham, Surrey.
'Coquembotelle' is what is known in Gibraltar as a 'Yanitada' - in this case an English word given an inappropriately Spanish accent. I doubt whether he discovered its origins via research. Far more likely that his Gibraltar friend - he only seems to have had one - explained it to him with a big grin on his face. Yanitadas have always been considered as quite humorous by most Gibraltarians.
The Reverend Patterson was obviously one of those curious men who was intrigued by trivia. In 1881 while still in Gibraltar he placed the following in the Notes and Queries publication of that date.