The Eliott Memorial
In 1815 General Don had requested of the Secretary of State for the Colonies, the Earl Bathurst, permission to construct a rotunda with a memorial to General Sir George Augustus Eliott. This did not materialise in the form originally requested, but a "colossal" statue of General Eliot, carved from the bowsprit of the Spanish man-o-war San Juan, taken at Trafalgar was placed at the top of the Heathfield Steps, leading up to the south of Grand Parade. That statue was taken to the Convent, the Governor's residence, where it stands today, when a bronze bust of General Eliott replaced it in 1858. It stands on a marble pillar and was presented to Gibraltar by a descendant of the General. Like elsewhere in Gibraltar, sites within the gardens have been used to display examples of guns in Gibraltar or connected with British military history. Thus around Eliott's column are placed three 10 inch howitzers made in 1783 and one 8 inch howitzer dating from 1778.
The Wellington Memorial
Three years after the opening of the Alameda, on 10th April, 1819, Sir George Don, accompanied by the Naval, Military and Civil officers of the Garrison, went to the gardens to unveil the bust of the Duke of Wellington. A guard of Honour and four bands attended. The monument had been funded by deducting a day's pay from all the members of the garrison. The bust had been cast in bronze under the direction of a Mr. Westmacott from guns captured by the Duke of Wellington. It stands on a marble pillar that had been brought from the Roman ruins of Lepida (Libya). Around Wellington's column stand two 13 inch mortars with shells and 1 1758 bronze 12 pounder gun on a wooden garrison carriage.
Laid out by a Genoese gardener in 1842 this Italian style garden was restored in 1992. Notable are the two fountains dating from early in the 20th Century and the waterfall and pond with a selection of lilies and marginal plants including Papyrus. Goldfish, frogs and terrapins share the pond. Plants of note are Hibiscus, Bougainvillea, Jasmine. Jessamine, Wisteria and palms. Plants traditionally grown indoors, like several species of tropical ferns are perfectly at home in the rockeries alongside the stream
The 17th Century Stone Cottage , once the head gardener's residence, has been restored to include a display on the botany and natural history of Gibraltar and the gardens in particular, including the history of the Alameda.
The Nature Shop
Plants, seeds and gardening sundries can be obtained from the Nature Shop, So too can gifts and cards, as well as a wide range of books on natural history and gardening.
Open Air Theatre
The Alameda Open Air Theatre was inaugurated once again on 12th April, 1996 at four o'clock with three bands of music playing - the same number of bands as had attended 180 years before to the hour at the opening of the Alameda Gardens in 1816. In order to extend its use from just theatre to general use, a number of new features were introduced, like the waterfall and lake - the largest area of open fresh water on the Rock, with Koi Carp and a collection of exotic lilies.
Since its opening, this venue has been used for a variety of purposes, from beauty contests to band concerts, also weddings, dinner dances, conferences and variety shows.
The theatre is available for hire and all proceeds will go directly into continued improvements in the theatre and in the rest of Gibraltar's historic and rapidly improving Alameda Gardens.
Useful information about the theatre and its facilities:
- Seating Capacity: 435
- Stage Area: 120 sq. mtrs.
- Lighting Equipment: 34 Wide and Beams with coloured filters if required.
- 3 stage and 3 public entrances.
- Bar, changing rooms and toilet facilities.
- Seating with table maximum capacity: 300