Devil's Gap Footpath
Devil's Gap Footpath links Gibraltar's Upper Town to Devil's Gap Battery, one of the oldest artillery batteries in the territory. It offers views over the city, Gibraltar Harbour and Bay of Gibraltar.
The path takes its name from the battery, and the battery from the rocky outcrop at the top of the path on which the battery stands, which was called Punta del Diablo ("Devil's Point") by the Spanish. At 427 feet above sea level, the outcrop provided a strategic location on the escarpment above the town and therefore commanded a wide range over the Bay of Gibraltar, making it hard for any enemy movements to go unnoticed.
Although difficult to say for sure, it is thought that the path has been in existence since at least the early 18th century but definitely since the Great Siege of Gibraltar (1779-83). Older maps of the area show paths leading from the town to the Upper Rock but none seems to follow the current route. Luis Bravo de Acuña's 1627 "Plan of Gibraltar" (drawn during the Spanish interlude) shows that the eastern limits of the town were well below the current level. The natural route from the town to the Upper Rock at the time would have been via Charles V Wall.
The path begins at the eastern boundary of the Upper Town at the junction of Devil's Gap Road with Baca's Passage. It proceeds in a mostly southerly direction before reaching a flight of steps which link it to Green Lane, the road leading to Devil's Gap Battery.
The path was long overgrown and fell into a poor condition, but it was renovated in 2013 as part of the Upper Rock Management Plan to make it more accessible. This followed a similar refurbishment of the Mediterranean Steps. As part of the refurbishment works, the path was widened by pruning overgrown trees and shrubs and the drains were unclogged to prevent the path from puddling after rains. Information display panels carrying historical information about the path and on the wildlife that can be found there, together with a picnic table and waste bins designed to keep apes out were also added along the path. The Gibraltar Ornithological and Natural History Society and the Gibraltar Heritage Trust oversaw it to ensure the work was carried out in a sensitive manner.
- Gibraltar Heritage Trust information display panel on site, June 2013
- "Devil's Gap". Koala Construction. http://www.koala-construction.com/project/devils-gap-footpath/. Retrieved 8 July 2013.
- "Upper Rock pathway renovations almost complete". Your Gibraltar TV. 14 May 2013. http://www.yourgibraltartv.com/ygtv-news/written-news/society/3884-may-14-upper-rock-pathway-renovations-almost-complete. Retrieved 8 July 2013.
- "Full text of Minister Costa's budget speech". Your Gibraltar TV. 25 June 2013. http://www.yourgibraltartv.com/ygtv-news/written-news/politics/4251-june25-full-text-of-minister-costa-s-budget-speech. Retrieved 8 July 2013.
- "Reformed path for Devil's Gap". Gibraltar Chronicle. 15 May 2013. http://www.chronicle.gi/headlines_details.php?id=29266. Retrieved 8 July 2013.
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