The People of Gibraltar
1567 - Anton van den Wyngaerde - Gibraltar - Part 2


A self portrait - Wyngaerde sketching away somewhere on the west side of the Bay just opposite the Rock

In addition to his main and complex final sketch of the Rock and Bay of Gibraltar Wyngaerde also made a series of more detailed drawings of several parts of the Rock which he must have considered of interest. In this one Gibraltar is correctly spelt - as against the “Gubelaltar” which Anton used to label his “Rock and Bay” sketch. Mind you it is quite possible that the correct version was not written by him.


Sketch depicting several places on the Rock

As previously I have taken the liberty of dividing the sketch into sections - and manipulated them to a certain extent - in order to make it easier to view and comment.  


Section 1 - The south west

This sketch shows more or less the same scene as Wyngaerde used on his final work except that parts of the southern sea walls appear to be in a worse state on this sketch. Soldier historian Barrantes Maldonado, (see LINK) writing one year earlier also commented on the poor condition of the wall near the Torre del Tuerto.(Tozza de forta) - which also seems to be in need of some serious refurbishing.
e  este  arrabal  no  es  cercado  más de por  la una  parte,  que  es  por  la  parte  de la  mar.  Su  cerca,  aunque  sea en  partes  buena,  en  otras  está  derribada  y  va á  dar  á  la  torre  del  Tuerto,  que  es  un  castillo, por  sí, asentado en  una  punta que  hace la tierra  en  la mar
The wording of “Aqui fue la Batalla . . .” is the same as on the caption in the main sketch of the Bay  but with the appropriate addition of 'quando se hogo'  - which is precisely what happened to poor Don Enrique de Guzmán in 1433.  As regards that H  . . . I am not sure what it refers to.


Sketch 2 - Europa flats

This is the extreme south-east bit of the Rock looking across the Straits towards Ceuta - an interesting sketch as it depicts a part of the Rock not included in the Bay picture. In front of the southern fortification the words muirallas forto de guardia refer to the area’s strong fortified walls.  The distance from it to Africa is given as 5 leagues - roughly 24 km although in actual fact it is probably more like 15. 

On the extreme bottom left under the title Banias moriscas is a sketch of what is almost certainly that rather enigmatic building known today as the Nun's Well. (See LINK) Wyngaerde's version seems to show a structure with 20 pillars not all of them supporting arches. The sketch also includes the ancient Chapel of our lady of Europa labelled as nra sra de europa el fin de la cristianidad. (See LINK


Sketch 3 - The Moorish Castle (See LINK)

On this third sketch the wording by the Castle reads - 
La torra aqui stano los osses Del Condo do nobles en Jubelaltar 
Anton makes the point of referring to this incident - one way or the other - at least four times. All of which suggests that those relics were a major tourist attraction in the 16th century town of Gibraltar.


Sketch 4 - The town from the south

This is a partial view from the south with the town behind Charles V Wall (see LINK) and Sierra Carbonera in the distance sporting its tower.  Rather more difficult to make out is Puerta Nueva which would later become Southport Gate (see LINK) - It cuts through Charles V Wall (see link) more or less in the middle of the drawing and is indicated by a rather lopsided arrow and the phrase p nova. I have circled it in red.



Sketch 5 - Rosia

On the left is the Torre del Tuerto once again named as la torra tort and the area behind and to the left of the tower is given as Joan Plaza in which the two main buildings are two churches labelled  A and B - Na Sr de los Remedios and San Juan Verde respectively. The rest of the text is, I am afraid, illegible.

The New Mole (see LINK) built in 1516 and pointing more or less southwest of the Torre is nowhere to be seen - neither here nor in any of the other of Wyngaerde’s sketches. By the early 17th century it was only 28 meters in length which is not very long by any standards and may account for its omission. 

To the right of the great curve of the Line Wall from Charles V wall to the Torre are a series of gardens some of which would have been the precursors of the so-called Vineyard which is known to have existed during the early British era.


Sketch 6 - Just south of Charles V Wall

On the far right is Charles V wall with its very new Puerta Nueva - Southport Gate - appears yet again this time viewed from the other side. I have circled it in red. The building on the right of Gubelaltar  S. Franco - the Convent -  is the old chapel of Nra Señora del Rosario. The bastion on the other side of the Wall - the  Baluarte de Nra Señora del Rosario, which had not yet been built - took its name from this chapel.

The larger more complex building on the left is the Monasterio de San Francisco. (See LINK) It would later become the official residence of the British Governors of Gibraltar.


Section 7 - The northern defences

This is perhaps the most detailed and historically interesting of all the smaller sketches. Wyngaerde draws this panorama facing south from an imaginary viewpoint. 
The Moorish castle is shown with a cross and the usual reference to Enrique’s celebrated bones. The defensive walls and towers of the Castle qasbah or enclosure face north and within them is what appears to be a high platform sporting a couple of canons.  The walls continue downwards to la Puerta de Granada (see LINK) - a gate which no longer exists, followed by a second one - la Puerta de Tierra - today’s Landport Gate. (See LINK

Further to the right there are three towers followed by the recently constructed Baluarte de San Pablo also surmounted by several canons. Further along one can make out a beach and the Puerta de Mar or Waterport (see LINK) protected by towers on either side. The composition is slightly askew as from this angle the Baluarte would have hidden both the beach and the Waterport - the entrance to the town from the sea. On the extreme bottom left on the beach which led to the isthmus, a lime kiln is identified as an horno de cal. A breakwater to the south of the defensive wall is as shown on the main Bay plan but perhaps surprisingly there is again, no sign of the Old Mole. 

See also the following links:

1567 - Anton van den Wyngaerde - Gibraltar - Part 1
1567 - Anton van den Wyngaerde - Gibraltar - Part 3