Image: The dilapidated state of the Shrine at the time of the handover, 1961. N.B. Top photo, the still-present whipping-pole on the left.

Once that the threat of another looming war was found unlikely the British War Department began to withdraw many military installations in Gibraltar.

 

Military buildings were demolished and others remained, i.e. the remains of the ancient Shrine and Bomb Proof House. As military married quarters were still stationed there, access for the civilian population was still restricted to certain areas of Europa Point.

 

The efforts of Bishop John Farmer Healy proved successful in securing a legal footing for all Church property. At long last he was able to acquire the remains of the Shrine.

 

The state of the building was in a sorry-state. The dilapidated condition showed that the building had been used for all types of services, probably a store, a guard-room or a prison (judging by a whipping pole still present today, just outside the Shrine).

 

The Shrine was returned to the Church on 17th October 1961. The keys were handed over to the Bishop in a quiet private ceremony.

The dilapidated state of the Shrine in 1961.

16. The Shrine Handed Over