The Convent has been the official residence of the Governor of Gibraltar since 1728. It was originally a convent of Franciscan friars and was completed in 1531.
The dining room at the Convent has the most extensive display of heraldry in the Commonwealth of Nations. The building was heavily rebuilt during the 18th and 19th centuries in the Georgian style with Victorian elements.
Franciscan friars arrived in Gibraltar during the reign of Charles I of Spain. They were granted a plot of land in the area known at the time as La Turba where the poorer people of Gibraltar lived. A church and a friary were built in 1531.
The entrance was at the back (what is now Governor’s Lane). It stretched up to the area that is occupied today by the John Mackintosh Hall.
After the capture of Gibraltar by an Anglo-Dutch fleet in the name of the Archduke Charles, the Franciscan friars did not follow the exodus of the Spanish population and remained in Gibraltar, at least for some years (their presence was recorded in 1712).
The Franciscan friary was later taken over as the residence of the British governors in 1728 and has remained so ever since.
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