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Europa Point
History and Heritage
Paul Passante
One of the last sights we saw was Europa Point and the Mosque on the southern ...Read More
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Harding’s Battery is a restored artillery battery that is also known as Harding’s Fort. It received its name after Sir George Harding, the Chief Engineer of Gibraltar at the time in 1844. The Battery is located at Europa Point at the southern end of Gibraltar and holds the Europa Sunken Magazine that today is utilised as an information centre for visitors.


Photo of the 12.5 inch RML Gun at Harding's Battery at Europa Point with Spain visible in the background.

Being one of the southernmost batteries in Gibraltar, Harding’s Battery was originally built on the site of the 7th Europa Battery. It’s original design housed two 24 pounder cannons which were later upgraded in 1863 to two 32 pounder cannons.


Five years later, a review was made on the fortifications of Gibraltar by Colonel William Jervois, who at the time had inspected various other British Ports around the world, making a number of changes and recommendations to new coastal defences and batteries.


In accordance with his changes, Harding’s Battery was modified and rebuilt to accommodate a heavy Rifle Muzzle Loading (RML) gun. The initial plan was to install a 9 inch RML on a Moncrieff disappearing mounting, however this never transpired. Instead, in 1877 a 12.5 inch RML on a barbette mounting was constructed and installed, which was completed in 1878.


Side photo of the Harding's Battery 12.5 inch RML gun located at Europa Point in Gibraltar.

The ammunition magazine storing the shells and cartridges was in the chamber directly underneath the gun, with a passageway running behind the magazine chamber allowing a means to the lamps that were used for lighting. Two derricks were used to heave up the shells and cartridges via floor openings which were then placed on a trolley and wheeled on rails to the gun muzzle.


By the year 1904 breech-loading guns were slowly being introduced, replacing the older RML guns, a fate that left Harding’s 12.5 inch RML barrel at the bottom of the sea directly below the battery. Then again later, amid World War II, a 40 mm Bofor anti-aircraft gun was mounted on the battery.


After many years of being neglected and buried under sand, Harding’s Battery was finally unearthed and restored, a work that started in March of 2010 to renovate and improve the whole of Europa Point. The Europa Sunken Magazine below the gun has been transformed into a visitor centre providing valuable and interesting information to all that visit.

Interesting Fact

The 38 ton (in reality 50 tons) 12.5 inch RML gun that we see at Harding’s Battery today was actually originally used at Alexandra’s Battery back in the 1870’s. It was found half buried at the southern entrance to the Gibraltar Dockyard. In 2013 it was transported and installed on a replica carriage at Harding’s Battery where it remains on display to this day.

While visiting Europa Point, there is no question you should take a few moments to enjoy exploring this long standing battery and taking in it’s amazing history. Once arriving at Europa Point, it certainly won’t be out of your way to take a look. You won’t be left disappointed.

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10-12-2018 18:16pm

One of the last sights we saw was Europa Point and the Mosque on the southern tip.The Lighthouse looks out onto the Straight of Gibraltar and Mediterranean. Harding's Battery sits on the southernmost point of Gibraltar, at Europa Point. It is right next to the Europa Point Lighthouse and has a commanding view of the Straight of Gibraltar and North Africa.It has a concrete gun emplacement with a ...