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Booth’s diaries

Continuing with William Booth's diary...

“8. Advanced Guards are situated on each side of the Inundation, open and quite exposed for want of some Palisade or secure Retrenchment carried into the Inundation & Bay, as far as low watermark to prevent passing from the Isthmus without opposition or hindrance, to the Barrier of the Covertway Landport.

9. The Isthmus is mostly sand and level, except a few hillocks interspersed on its surface with the Spanish Batteries still remaining from the last Siege which have not been demolished. There are two Gardens of great benefit to the Garrison for herbage. From Landport Gate to the Waterport is a piece of ground improperly called the Esplanade with a large store house which had formerly been made use of by the Spaniards for building their Galley’s and an enclosed yard for shot and shells, both at present in possession of the Ordnance and made use of for stores with some other houses.

This part had been in the time of the Spaniards a Street but the houses being ruin’d came at last to an extensive heap of rubbish which was cleared away in the Year 1735 to widen that part of the Old Mole now called the Bomb Battery. In the rear of this & next the Town is an old Moorish wall which comes from the Castle and reaches as far as the Entrance into the Old Mole which part was taken down some after the last Siege , but the remainder is extremely well situated for a second defence, in case of the North Front being lost, but it has at times very improperly being given up to the Navy for a Storehouse and other inhabitants to build against; yet at present with the small expence of two Gates and a Palisade on the Rampart it will make a second entrance into the Town which would be of great use for the Street or examining strangers etc coming in or out of the Garrison.”

Image: North view of Gibraltar showing the isthmus. 2nd January, 1775. Engraving. W. H. C. Jones (sculpt.), J. Mace (artist), J. Boydell, publisher. Cheapside, London

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