The original gate here were constructed in 1552 by the Spanish and and additional entrance (New Southport Gate) was built by the British in 1883. The most recent gate was built in 1967.
The Southport Gate was formerly known as the Africa Gate, was the earliest of the trio of gates in the Charles V Wall. It was constructed by Italian engineer Giovanni Battista Calvi in 1552, under the reign of Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor. The Southport Gate bears the Royal Arms of Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor, as well as the coat of arms of Gibraltar. The gate was depicted in a 1627 map of Gibraltar by Spanish engineer Luis Bravo de Acuña. On the map now held by the British Museum, the Southport Gate and the adjacent Southport Ditch were labeled in Spanish as Puerta de África (English: Africa The Southport Ditch was a large trench which extended along the south side of Charles V Wall from the southwestern end of the South Bastion to the Flat Bastion at Prince Edward’s Gate.
New Southport Gate
The centre gate was constructed in 1883. The New Southport Gate was opened in the Charles V Wall to improve the flow of traffic. It was constructed during the reign of Queen Victoria and the term of Governor of Gibraltar General Sir John Miller Adye It is ornamented with the coat of arms of the governor and that of Gibraltar, over which is the Royal Arms of Queen Victoria.
In the 19th century, the Southport Ditch was the site of an ordnance depot. In the 1880s, the South Bastion featured four new rifled muzzle loading guns. A magazine was built in Southport Ditch at that time to store the ammunition needed for the new guns. Today, one of the guns is mounted just inside the Southport Gates. By 1908, the magazine had been converted to use as a pumphouse.