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Defending Gibraltar, the 100 Ton Gun

Eyleen Gomez

This year the Gibraltar National Museum have been unable to hold their Walks Through History for local children this summer due to Covid-19. Instead the Museum has teamed up with the Chronicle to provide the tours, giving people an insight into local historical sites via this newspaper. Included in every article of this series, which will run daily until Monday, September 21, is a picture quiz where a lucky winner will win three prizes.

By Nathan Barcio
Phil Smith, Senior Guide at the Gibraltar Museum gave The Chronicle a tour of the Napier of Magdala Battery, which is home to the 100 Ton Gun.

The Battery is near Parson’s Lodge, and also played an important role in defending Gibraltar from invasions.
The Battery is home to the 100 Ton gun, which in fact weighs 102 tonnes.

Gibraltar is home of one of two of these guns, with the other being situated in Malta.

During the 1800s Gibraltar was home to two 100 Ton Guns, the other located at Victoria Battery. However, when testing out new ammunition for the Cannon at the Napier of Magdala Battery, the 100 Ton Gun split and broke.

A decision was made that this area was of extreme importance to defend Gibraltar, so the 100 Ton Gun from Victoria Battery was moved to the Napier of Magdala Battery.

The Battery had ammunition stores and chambers in order to make the area safe for soldiers.

The elaborate gun which could fire extremely long distances became obsolete by the early 1900s, but the gun served as a great Deterrent to prevent any potential invasions of Gibraltar.

The Battery is an ideal location as it is in Rosia, which oversees Gibraltar’s only natural harbour.

During the Second World War, Anti-Aircraft guns were placed at the Napier of Magdala Battery.

It is believed that these would have fired in anger because there were several attempted air-raids of the Rock.

The Napier of Magdala Battery is open to the public for tours, and has several props and displays which provide a great picture of the history behind the battery and the 100 Ton Gun.

Mr Smith emphasised the importance of all the batteries in Rosia, which proved to be a great deterrent throughout history.

NOTE: Included in every print/e-edition article of this series, which will run daily until Monday, September 21, is a picture quiz where a lucky winner will win three prizes. To take part in the competition subscribe to the Chronicle (https://www.chronicle.gi/subscribe/) and follow the directions on the e-edition, or purchase a print edition. Print editions can be purchased in local shops or at the Chronicle office in Watergate House, Line Wall Road.