Until now, when the origins of the Mahón naval arsenal were discussed, reference was made to the beginning of the 18th century, when General Stanhope conquered the castle of San Felipe in September 1708, and a few months later Admiral George Byng arrived at the port with his naval squadron and began the installation of the English military base. Arsenal that, later, reached its zenith during the second English domination, in the 18th century. This military facility became, in the 19th and 20th centuries, a Spanish naval base, enlarged at the beginning of the 20th century by Lieutenant Commander Cardona, to a naval air base, until reaching our days.
We consider, however, that the origins of the English arsenal in the port of Mahón go back to the 17th century, as we will see below, with the presence of the English Mediterranean fleet in the port, and whose economic and human consequences were important for the port and its surroundings, as evidenced by the greater development of the eastern part of the island with respect to the rest of Menorca.
At the beginning of the 17th century, the English admiral Mansell used our port, with the permission of the Spanish monarchy, to punish the Barbary pirates who constantly attacked British maritime trade in the Mediterranean. But it was in the second half of the 17th century, after the English Civil War, that England installed a naval base in Mahón for its Mediterranean squadron. That arsenal was later abandoned, but without a doubt those premises served for the definitive English naval base, when Menorca passed to British sovereignty, at the beginning of the 18th century.