My favourite place: Gibraltar

In the February 2017 issue of BBC History Magazine, Roy and Lesley Adkins select Gibraltar as their favourite place. History Extra caught up with them to find out more...

The Rock of Gibraltar has been in British hands since 1704

Q. When did you last travel to Gibraltar and why?

We were there in September 2016 to do location and archive research for our next book, which is on the Great Siege of 1779–83

 

Q. What top 3 sights would you recommend and why?

The first has to be O’Hara’s battery, dating from the late Victorian period. The artillery battery itself is impressive, but you also get a real sense of the awesome nature of the Rock because this is almost its highest point. Next, any of the tunnels that honeycomb the Rock. We would opt for the Great Siege Tunnels because of the incredible feat of engineering more than two centuries ago and because of the views through the gun embrasures, this time across Spain and also looking down on to the huge cemetery area (also worth a visit). For something different, there is the Alameda Gardens, with its exotic trees and plants.

 

Q. During what period of history would you most have wanted to visit Gibraltar and why?

We would like to be brave enough to say ‘during the Great Siege’, but it was a dangerous time. Perhaps we will opt for late October into November 1805, during the aftermath of the battle of Trafalgar.

 

Q. Where else in the world would you most like to visit and why?

We would actually love to go on a driving tour of Ireland. We’ve never been there, because of the tendency to overlook places that are too close to home.

 

Roy and Lesley Adkins' book on the Great Siege of Gibraltar is due to be published later this year: adkinshistory.com

You can read more about the Adkins' experiences in Gibraltar in the February issue of BBC History Magazine – on sale from 31 January

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