Martello Towers or "Where's the rest of the castle?"

A Martello tower is an interesting architectural building that is pretty much a medieval castle in miniature. Real medieval castles with the stone walls and keeps stopped being built around the 14th century but.. the Martello Tower is something that came into use in the 19th century. It is an interesting thing to note because artillery was the demise of the castle as we know it. Nobody was willing to spend years making a castle that could be destroyed by cannon fire in a few days. It just wasn't worth it any more. But.... in the irony of the whole artillery situation it was a mini castle or Martello tower that proved to be useful in housing artillery!

Martello towers are a round stone tower that housed a small garrison of soldiers. And it usually had a very large cannon on top. These saw world wide use and were prominent at valuable sea ports.

A Martello Tower in South Africa
Picture above credit: Jacot-Guillarmod

A Martello Tower in Essex

Picture above credit: Sannse

 

The Inside of a Martello Tower

A diagram of a martello tower

 

 

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