O’Hara’s Battery

The gun barrel of the O'Hara Battery, at the highest point of Gibraltar
The gun barrel of the O'Hara Battery, at the highest point of Gibraltar
O’Hara’s Battery is an coastal defence artillery battery in the British Overseas Territory of Gibraltar is at an incredible height of about 426 meters (1398 feet), at the highest peak, near the southern end of the Upper Rock Nature Reserve in the Upper Battery area, which also includes Lord Airey’s battery and battery spur.
It was built in 1890 on the former site of a watchtower, built by Governor Charles O’Hara, known as “the madness of O’Hara”.
Named in honor of General Charles O’Hara, Governor of Gibraltar from 1795-1802, it was initially the place where the attempt to build a watchtower failed, from which the garrison could monitor any suspected enemy in the port of Cadiz, at a surprising distance of 100 km. Upon failing in its purpose, the garrison began to call the tower, the O’Hara Madness.
The first 6-inch 6″ (152.4mm) cannon was mounted in 1890, but was replaced in 1901 by a 9.2″ (152.4mm) -inch cannon with a range of 29,000 yards (26 km), aided to some extent by its height above sea level.The battery was in use during World War II and was last fired during training exercises in 1976.

O’Hara’s Battery is listed with the Gibraltar Heritage Trust.

Access : Coordinates: 36.123845-5.34288 / The easiest option is to walk from the Upper Cable Car Station. take the cable car to the upper station, and then go down to the Cave of San Miguel. About halfway, you will find a fork that will take you to the O’Hara Battery.
Note : Be warned though it is a very steep walk up the inclined road to get there.

structure and layout :

  • Main  Armament : 9.2″ (152.4mm) guns , The BL 9.2-inch Mk IX and Mk X guns were British breech loading 9.2-inch guns of 46.7 calibre, in service from 1899 to the 1950s as naval and coast defence guns. They had possibly the longest, most varied and successful service history of any British heavy ordnance.
  • O’Hara’s Control Room and Observation Post, The Engine Room , Tunnel from engine room to gun at O’Hara’s Battery , Spare gun barrel along path to Lord Airey’s Battery from O’Hara’s Battery , Stairway to underground magazine; gun and enclosure in background ,

Visiting hours: Monday-Sunday 09:30 – 19:15 /

Entrance fees: Included in the Nature Reserve rate,Option 1: Simply walk through the Natural Reserve of the Rock of Gibraltar: £ 5.00 – Option 2: Access to the Natural Reserve of the Rock of Gibraltar and ALL available attractions : Adults £ 12.00 / Children £ 7.00 -ages 5 – 11.

Activities : Hiking up to O’hara’s battery and Upper Rock Nature Trails / Enjoy the Amazing views / Scenic Driving- Auto Touring / Photo opportunities

Go next : Europa Point. The southernmost point of Gibraltar, where the Atlantic meets the Mediterranean / Gorham’s Cave complex / St Michael’s Cave / Lord Airey’s Battery /


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