Minister for Heritage visits Lathbury Barracks Sports Complex works
As part of the project by Her Majesty’s Government of Gibraltar to build a new sports complex at Lathbury Barracks, the works required an archaeological watching brief and survey and this has been taking place over the last month.
Under the Ministry for Heritage, the work has been carried out by the archaeologists and staff from the Gibraltar Museum with the assistance of the construction managers AKS and the principal contractor, GJBS.
After carrying out an initial desk based assessment where data such as old plans and maps, photographs and historical facts are researched, a plan of action is agreed with the contractor to unearth what lies beneath the surface. In this case, it has not only confirmed what was known but also uncovered some other military structures of interest.
Amongst them are World War II heavy anti-aircraft gun positions, command post, access tunnels and shelters.
The Gibraltar Heritage Trust has been kept informed of the developments and have also visited the site in order to examine the finds and provide feedback from their extensive military knowledge, especially the Fortress of Gibraltar Group.
Part of the archaeological survey is to record everything for posterity so we will have a clear understanding of how the original site looked.
Minister Cortes commented “Due to its sometimes turbulent history, Gibraltar is a treasure trove of buried artefacts and structures from our past and it is important that whenever building works require any type of digging or ground disturbance that the Ministry for Heritage is consulted and involved at the earliest opportunity. This will allow for proper recording of our past. Development does not need to stop but we should not lose the opportunities that this offers. Indeed, had this project not been undertaken by the Government it is likely that the structures would have remained buried and gone unnoticed well into the future. The close working relationship that has been demonstrated at this site between the Government, the contractor, the Gibraltar Museum and the Gibraltar Heritage Trust is a good way forward and one that we would wish to promote in dealing with development as a whole.”