For over a decade, the Gibraltar National Museum has been actively researching the natural history value of the site which it also manages, known as Parson’s Lodge. Best known for its historical significance, Parson’s Lodge is also a site of natural history significance as the museum’s research is showing. It is part of the Gibraltar National Park and holds a rich plant and animal community; its strategic position makes it a staging post for migratory birds moving between Africa and Europe; and its proximity to the coastline gives it added value in terms of marine and intertidal biology. Parson’s Lodge is situated on top of a rich fossiliferous vein, known as the Rosia breccias, which were first explored by the Reverend John White in the late eighteenth century. The breccias became internationally known as providing significant evidence of evolutionary processes and are considered a key site in the history of science.
It was logical that a solution to the museum’s expansion problems could be Parson’s Lodge, which will now become the dedicated site to the rich natural history of Gibraltar in the form of the Gibraltar National Museum (Natural History). The premises at Bomb House Lane will be fully dedicated to history and cultural heritage and all aspects of natural history (with the exception of Neanderthal-related exhibits) will be transferred to Parson’s Lodge. This will, in turn, release much-needed space at Bomb House Lane.