Arcadia Discussion Zone

Forums dedicated to history's mysteries, Rennes-le-Château and beyond…

Read the Arcadia Forum House Rules

It is currently 12 Dec 2017 4:21 am

All times are UTC




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 7 posts ] 
Author Message
 Post subject: Martello Towers
PostPosted: 06 Oct 2013 9:12 am 
Offline
High King
User avatar

Joined: 08 Apr 2008 6:44 am
Posts: 2801
Location: Winchester
Martello Tower, Suffolk Coast

Image

I recently walked part of the Suffolk coastal path, a track that runs along the North Sea coast in south-east England, and passed by several of these formidable looking defensive structures that were built as coastal defences during the Napoleonic wars. Originally based on a Genovese defensive system built in Corsica, designed by Giovan Giacomo Paleari Fratino, the ones in England were mostly built between 1804 and 1812, and although they never saw service against a Napoleonic invasion fleet, they were used to deter smugglers and later as WWII defences. These days, some are ruins, some are museums, some have been converted into living accommodation. They make for quite a dramatic sight as one walks along the coast; squat sentinels of stone staring across the grey, flat expanse of the North Sea. The ones in this thread are from a section of coast near a place called Shingle Street, looking out over Hollesley Bay, an area of flat wetlands and big skies, home to many birds, and a place that is beautifully bleak, remote and atmospheric.

Image

This is the basic design of one of these towers, from Wikipedia.

Image

This one had been converted into a rather swish house, with a lightweight structure perched on the roof, and an external metal stair accessing the upper levels.

Image

Two more that have been converted into houses.

Image

Image

One can even rent a converted Martello tower to stay in; the interiors in the link below look stunning.

http://www.landmarktrust.org.uk/search- ... tAodIx4AQg

But my favourite of the four I saw that day was the ruined one.

Image

Image


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Martello Towers
PostPosted: 08 Oct 2013 9:57 pm 
Offline
High King
User avatar

Joined: 24 Apr 2008 2:43 pm
Posts: 2073
Thanks Richard, interesting buildings. Quite amazing how coastal defences hadn't changed that much right up to WWII.
Regards
Nic


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Martello Towers
PostPosted: 08 Nov 2013 12:37 am 
Offline
High King

Joined: 11 Nov 2009 4:34 pm
Posts: 3058
Location: traverse city,michigan
BULLDOGNIC wrote:
Thanks Richard, interesting buildings. Quite amazing how coastal defences hadn't changed that much right up to WWII.
Regards
Nic


Yep, bigger guns, more concrete, right Nic?

_________________
on the trail of the grail


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Martello Towers
PostPosted: 08 Nov 2013 8:38 am 
Offline
High King
User avatar

Joined: 08 Apr 2008 6:44 am
Posts: 2801
Location: Winchester
wayward wrote:
BULLDOGNIC wrote:
Thanks Richard, interesting buildings. Quite amazing how coastal defences hadn't changed that much right up to WWII.
Regards
Nic


Yep, bigger guns, more concrete, right Nic?


There are a few more modern, WWII era, pillboxes along that coast as well, interspersed amongst the towers.

Image

You come across quite a few of these in England, mostly but not exclusively along the coast. There were several surrounding the (inland) village where I grew up, and where we used to play as children. They obviously don't convert into houses or boutique B&Bs in the way that the towers do, and are becoming ever more overgrown as the years go by.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Martello Towers
PostPosted: 30 Nov 2014 3:16 pm 
Offline
Grand Master

Joined: 06 Jun 2012 3:54 pm
Posts: 686
In Menorca there are many of these in a good state of preservation all around the island, which was English for 200 years and French for 80. Menorca has the second largest natural harbour in the world (after Pearl Harbor) and sat in the middle of the Mediterranean sea has always been a prized possession. There is still a strong military presence there.

The Martello towers are the brown ones in the map below.

Image

Image


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Martello Towers
PostPosted: 09 Dec 2014 2:18 am 
Offline
Grand Master

Joined: 04 Aug 2014 2:51 pm
Posts: 219
Quote:
North Sea coast in south-east England,


*cough* East Anglia *cough* ;)

I've met plenty of folks from that region of England who wouldn't like to be lumped in with the South East.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Martello Towers
PostPosted: 19 Dec 2014 8:10 am 
Offline
High King
User avatar

Joined: 08 Apr 2008 6:44 am
Posts: 2801
Location: Winchester
Aedis wrote:
Quote:
North Sea coast in south-east England,


*cough* East Anglia *cough* ;)

I've met plenty of folks from that region of England who wouldn't like to be lumped in with the South East.


Yes, you're right, it's much more east than it is south-east. But from where I live I have to drive around London and then through Essex to get there, so it feels like the south-east. Plus it's very flat.

Martello towers were featured in last night's final episode of the excellent BBC4 series, "Castles: Britain's Fortified History", which was well worth watching, and which I'd highly recommend to those who can access UK television on-line. There were three episodes - the first one was about the great spate of castle building subsequent to the Norman invasion, then there was a whole episode on Edward I and all the castles he built, and then in the final episode they looked at the coastal defences built by Henry VIII, and the later ones of the Napoleonic Wars, which is where the Martello Towers came in, with some nice aerial shots of the ones in Suffolk featured above, and discussion of how effective they are as defensive fortifications, requiring very little manpower to operate them. And yet none of those towers, of which there were once over a hundred on our coast, ever fired a shot in anger, but they were certainly an effective deterrent to foreign invasion, just as Henry VIII's little utilised castles had been. The programme also looked at the Civil War, and the heroic royalist defence of Corfe Castle, one of our most beautiful ruins, and even had time to consider the notion of the ruined castle as a cultural icon of the romantic movement of the 18th century.

Could have done with a few more episodes, perhaps, given the long period of history that was being covered, but nice to watch, and one got to see some wonderful locations.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b04t9h6l


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 7 posts ] 

All times are UTC


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group