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Cathedral of the Holy Trinity
Gibraltar Cathedral
Western main entry of the Cathedral of the Holy Trinity in Gibraltar depicting its Moorish-style horseshoe arches.
Western main entry of the Cathedral of the Holy Trinity in Gibraltar depicting its Moorish-style horseshoe arches.

36°08′18″N 5°21′15″W / 36.138235°N 5.35406°W / 36.138235; -5.35406Coordinates: 36°08′18″N 5°21′15″W / 36.138235°N 5.35406°W / 36.138235; -5.35406
Location Cathedral Square
Country  Gibraltar
Denomination Anglican
Website Holy Trinity
Founder(s) John Pitt, Earl of Chatham
Architect(s) Unknown
Style Moorish Revival
Diocese Diocese of Gibraltar in Europe
Bishop(s) Geoffrey Rowell
Dean John Paddock[1]
Pastor(s) John Paddock
Chaplain(s) William Henry Dunbar Watson

The Cathedral of the Holy Trinity, Gibraltar is the cathedral for the Church of England Diocese of Gibraltar in Europe. Located in Cathedral Square, it is sometimes referred to simply as Gibraltar Cathedral, although it should not be confused with the Cathedral of St. Mary the Crowned, which is Gibraltar's Roman Catholic cathedral. The Cathedral is particularly notable for its Moorish revival architecture - particularly in its use of horseshoe arches. This is an architectural style inspired by Moorish architecture, appropriate given the period of Moorish control in Gibraltar's history.


History of the Cathedral


19th Century

The church was originally built to meet the needs of Anglican worshippers among the civil population of Gibraltar, as the King's Chapel was primarily reserved for military use. John Pitt, Earl of Chatham, who had arrived as Governor of Gibraltar in 1820, persuaded the British Government to sell a derelict building and use the money to build a plain church on the land.

Building work began in 1825, and the church was completed in 1832. The architect is unknown; Colonel Pilkington of the Royal Engineers was in charge of the work. During the building process, the partially completed church had to be used for a short time as an emergency hospital during an epidemic of Yellow Fever.

The church was consecrated in 1838 by Archdeacon Edward Burrow in the presence of the Dowager Queen Adelaide, widow of William IV. It was raised to Cathedral status in 1842, with the creation of the Diocese of Gibraltar at the time of enthronement of George Tomlinson as the first Bishop of Gibraltar.[2]

20th Century

The Cathedral suffered no significant damage during the Second World War. After the war had come to an end, Bishop Harold Buxton made an appeal for the purpose of "Saying Thank You to Malta and Gibraltar", with the intention of raising funds to be spent on improvements for St. Paul's Pro Cathedral, Malta and the Cathedral in Gibraltar. In Gibraltar the money raised was used for the construction of new vestries and the creation of a second chapel in the south aisle of the Cathedral, to be dedicated to Saint George and in memory of all who lost their lives in the Mediterranean area during the war. A stone from Coventry Cathedral, which was ruined in the the blitz, is let into the wall.

The explosion of the RFA Bedenham on 27 April 1951 caused substantial damage to the Cathedral, lifting the roof and smashing the stained glass. The windows in the sides of the building were re-glazed with plain glass, whilst the gathered fragments of coloured glass were used to construct the new stained glass window which remains in the east wall, above the high altar. The Cathedral required extensive repair work and was not in use until Christmas of that year.


As with all Church of England cathedrals, the priest in charge of the building and its ministry is called the Dean. He is assisted by a Canon Precentor, who also acts as Port Chaplain to the Port of Gibraltar. The third priest at the cathedral is a non-stipendiary (unpaid) honorary minor canon. The Bishop of Gibraltar is not resident locally; due to the vast extent of his diocese, he lives near Gatwick Airport in England to facilitate transport.


  1. ^ Searle, Dominique (15 December 2008). "Gib's New Dean is to be Installed Tomorrow" (in English). The Gibraltar Chronicle (Gibraltar): 3.  
  2. ^ History of the Cathedral of the Holy Trinity.

See also

External links


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