CHRISTMAS OFFER Subscribe to EADT Suffolk today CLICK HERE

Our Martello towers

PUBLISHED: 11:40 14 October 2010 | UPDATED: 17:57 20 February 2013

Our Martello towers

Our Martello towers

They're dotted along large parts of our suffolk coastline, but how much do you know about Martello towers?

They're dotted along large parts of our suffolk coastline, but how much do you know about Martello towers?




SHELL SHOCK: Martello towers were used during the first half of the 19th century, but became obsolete with the introduction of powerful rifled artillery.



TOWERING ACHIEVEMENT: Between 1805 and 1812, 103 Martello towers were built on the east coast of England to resist a potential invasion by Napoleon. Twenty-nine were built between Aldeburgh and St Osyth Stone between 1808 and 1812 to protect Essex and Suffolk.



PIRATE DETERRENT: These curved forts were inspired by the Genovese defence system at Mortella Point in Corsica, which were first built in 1565. The Corsicans originally built these towers on the coast of the island to protect their villages from pirates.



COM-FORTS: Many towers are privately owned but one at Jaywick has become an arts venue, another, at St Osyth, a museum and two in Suffolk (at Hollesley and Felixstowe) are homes.



SIZE MATTERS: The towers are built of brick, are 13 foot thick on the seaward side to resist cannon fire, and stand about 30-40 foot high. Most were equipped with a cannon on the roof and typically had a garrison of one officer and 15-25 men. A supporting fort, or Redoubt, was built at Harwich.



WHOS THE DADDY? The largest tower is Martello CC, at Aldeburgh, which is effectively four towers joined together. Owned by the Landmark Trust, and available to rent, it was built in the shape of a quatrefoil for four heavy guns, with nearly a million bricks used in its construction. It stands at the foot of the Orford Ness peninsula, between the River Alde and the sea, a few hundred yards from Aldeburgh.



Photograph by BILL PHILPOT

0 comments

More from People

Tue, 13:45

Tessa Allingham sits down to dinner prepared by some of the county’s most talented chefs and their most promising protegés

Read more
Friday, October 5, 2018

John White has lived and worked at the tiny hamlet of Felixstowe Ferry for almost all of his 79 years | Words & Photos: Mike Trippitt

Read more
Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Thinking of boarding school for your child but have concerns? There might be a flexible boarding option to suit you

Read more
Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Barrister Sarah Langford hopes her fictionalised accounts of some of the challenging cases she’s defended will give people a deeper understanding of the justice system | Words: Catherine Larner - Photo: Sophia Schorr-Kon

Read more
Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Tree sculptor John Williams has embarked on an ambitious storytelling project in the Ickworth House gardens | Words & Photos: Suzy Stennett

Read more
Friday, September 7, 2018

A couple moving from the UK to New Zealand have decided to use their journey to save threatened wildlife, by cycling 21,000 kilometres through 27 countries in 12 months, fundraising for Halesworth-based wildlife charity World Land Trust

Read more
Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Kate Osborne is on a mission to share her love of all things coastal, and to help save marine environments | Words: Jayne Lindill

Read more
Wednesday, August 22, 2018

An exciting new project will unlock Sutton Hoo’s Anglo Saxon past and reveal how it has helped shape who we are today | Words: Jayne Lindill

Read more
Thursday, August 16, 2018

James Henry’s foray into the world of birdwatching in Suffolk provided the backdrop to his latest crime novel | Words: Catherine Larner

Read more
Thursday, August 16, 2018

Paul Simon talks to Edward Wilson creator of the fictional Lowestoft-born spy William Catesby

Read more

Newsletter Sign Up

EADT Suffolk Magazine regular newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy


Topics of Interest

Food and Drink Directory

Local Business Directory

Search For a Car In Your Area

Property Search