The Rock HotelBook Now

Check availability
  • No Booking Fees

The Rock HotelThe Great Siege Tunnels

The labyrinth of tunnels known as The Great Siege Tunnels are perhaps the most impressive defence system devised by man. At the end of the Great Siege in 1783, the defeated Commander of the French and Spanish troops, the Duc de Crillon, on being shown the fortifications that had led to the defeat of his troops, commented “These works are worthy of the Romans”.  This comment highlights the ingenuity of those men who against all odds endured the onslaught of the advancing forces and were still able to devise a unique system of defence which afforded them victory. 
 
It was during the war of American Independence, when France and Spain made an all-out attempt to recapture the Rock from the British in Gibraltar’s 14th Siege, always called The Great Siege, which lasted from July 1779 to February 1783, that the then Governor General Eliott (later called Baron Heathfield of Gibraltar) is said to have offered a reward to anyone who could tell him how to get guns on to a projection from the precipitous northern face of the Rock known as the Notch.