Tuesday, 9 April 2013

Martello Towers

In the distance over the wheat field stands a Martello Tower, it is one of 29 on the Suffolk coast built between 1810-12. 

 Inspired by the Genovese round tower defences at Mortella Point in Corsica these, in the south east of England, were an addition to the 74 already in place on the south coast built to ward off a possible invasion by Napoleon, each housed a garrison of 15-25 men.
Martello Tower 'Z', Alderton
Getting closer to its 13 foot thick walls the windows of the upper floor can be seen, the entrance on the ground floor is on the other side. The 30 foot high structure had a basement, ground and upper floor with the cannon being placed on the roof.

and a nifty internal drainage system leading to the water storage tank.  The round walls were cannon resistant but with advances in artillery the Martello Towers soon became obsolete however some were once again pressed into service  in 20th century for the Second World War as observation towers or for anti-aircraft guns.  This particular tower is on English Heritage's  'at risk' register because 

 the outer brick skin is peeling away. For a look inside see an enthusiasts view here
Some of the towers get another use
Martello Tower, Shingle Street
 and this particular one caught my attention because of the obsolete postbox in its surrounding grounds
Now it is a holiday home with views out to sea by the side of the beach at Shingle Street, but more of that when we get to S.  As you can see from the photos it was one of those sunshine and showers days, with the accent on showers although being optimists we were dressed for sunshine!

An entry to ABC Wednesday - a journey through the alphabet.


Leslie: said...

I am aMazed! And now it's someone's home? Can hardly wait for S week!

abcw team

Ann said...

Those towers are fascinating, I checked out the inside and the structure is so unique. The holiday home is splendid, can't believe the transformation.

Roger Owen Green said...

a technology of war used for domestic use!
ROG, ABC Wednesday team

ChrisJ said...

Fascinating post. I am British, now in U.S. and I have never heard of these towers. I know there was fear of an invasion but didn't know there were any preparations. Wish I could get back to investigate. Guess I'll have to limit myself to the internet. Getting too old to gallivant.

Lea said...

I especially like the second photo (with the winding road). Have a wonderful day!
Lea's Menagerie

Rajesh said...

Interesting information about the place with wonderful shots.

Kate said...

It is quite interesting how humans have learned to protect and defend themselves. Love the bottom photo with the mailbox!