Signal Hill Battery, Gibraltar

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for the battery in Watson's Bay see Signal Hill Battery
Signal Hill Battery
Part of Fortifications of Gibraltar
Signal Hill Battery is now Cable Car.gif
Old Ordnance Survey map showing depicting Signal Hill Battery with superimposed red area showing the footprint of the Gibraltar Cable Car top station.
Signal battery tunnel nissan hut remains.jpg
The remains of the Nissen hut within the battery's tunnel.
Signal Hill Battery is located in Gibraltar
Signal Hill Battery
Signal Hill Battery
Coordinates36°08′04″N 5°20′45″W / 36.134307°N 5.345732°W / 36.134307; -5.345732
TypeArtillery Battery
Site information
OwnerGovernment of Gibraltar
ConditionBuilt upon
Site history

Signal Hill Battery or Signal Battery was an artillery battery in the British Overseas Territory of Gibraltar. The battery was mounted high on the rock.[1] Little remains today as the Gibraltar Cable Car top station was built on the site of the old battery.


Remains of the Signal Station just south of Signal Hill Battery

The top of the Rock of Gibraltar is a natural site for a signal station and the 1,200 feet (370 m) high Signal Hill has had a Signal Station since at least 1727. In 1773 it had its first 6-pounder gun installed.[2] The height above sea level gave the gun extra range and it could also fire in any direction. However, in Gibraltar height can be a disadvantage as the levanter cloud can interfere with the gunners view of targets.

By 1892 the gun had been updated to a BL 6 inch QF gun mounted on a Vavasseur mounting. Seven years later a second gun was added and after two more years there were four 6 inch guns and two QF 12 pounder 12 cwt gun. The latter two had depression mountings allowing them to be fired down the side of the Rock but they were removed by 1906.[2]

Remains of old cable car at Signal Station.

During World War II the Rock was a target for air raids and two 3 inch 30 cwt anti-aircraft guns were mounted on the hill together with a Bofors 40 mm gun.[2]

The battery was later removed and built over by the Gibraltar Cable Car top station, however there are remains of an earlier cable station that was used to bring supplies (or a brave man) up to the top of Signal Hill. Besides the remains of earlier military buildings there is also a short tunnel that runs east to west.[2]

The tunnel[edit]

Under the battery is a tunnel which still (2013) contains the remains of accommodation that was installed for the gunners of the battery. The tunnel which runs from east to west contains a hollowed out interior which is six by twelve metres. Within this space are the remains of a Nissen hut. The small tunnel also contains cooking and other abandoned facilities.[2]


  1. ^ Ehlen, Judy; Harmon, Russell S. (2001). The Environmental Legacy of Military Operations. Geological Society of America. p. 110. ISBN 978-0-8137-4114-7. Retrieved 29 March 2013.
  2. ^ a b c d e "Signal Hill Battery and ruins". DiscoverGibraltar. Archived from the original on 5 September 2013. Retrieved 1 May 2013.