The British presence in Menorca lasted for almost all of the eighteenth century. The British legacy remains, among other things, in the wonderful architectural heritage in the shape of defensive military structures that dot the whole of the island’s coastline.
During the War of the Spanish Succession and as a result of the Treaty of Utrecht (1713), Menorca, along with Gibraltar, came under British control. The British presence in Menorca lasted for almost all of the eighteenth century in three consecutive periods lasting from 1708 to 1802, the year in which the island was returned to the Spanish crown. During this period, amongst other things, the British established Maó as the capital of the island (in detriment to Ciutadella), built new roads such as the famous Camí d’en Kane, drained some of the disease-ridden marshes and turned them into fertile market gardens, and opened the port of Maó to foreign trade. The British legacy remains in the Anglicisms found in the local language, the characteristic bow windows seen on many Menorcan houses, the typical British-style furniture, the taste for gin and, above all, the wonderful architectural legacy in the shape of defensive military structures that dot the whole of the island’s coastline.
See the map British Menorca in Google Maps
The most important monuments of the British Menorca
The island, also known as The Bloody Island, is in the middle of the Maó harbour, between Maó and Es Castell villages, where we find the old military hospital built by the British during their domination.
Fortress carved out of the bare rock by the English between 1710 and 1726 to defend the castle of Sant Felip, stands on the southern side of the entrance to Maó harbour, in the cove Cala de Sant Esteve.
Sant Felip Castle stands on the southern side of the entrance to Maó harbour. Over the course of successive British occupations the castle was extended until the Spanish siege in 1782.
A coastal defence tower built by the British in the early 19th century to guard the entrance to Fornells harbour and protect the nearby Sant Antoni Castle