Martello Towers
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Martello towers are small defensive forts built in several countries of the British Empire during the 19th century, from the time of the Napoleonic Wars onwards
Martello Towers stand up to 40 feet (12m) high, with two floors, and typically had a garrison of one officer and 15-25 men. Their round structure and thick walls of solid masonry made them resistant to cannon fire, while their height made them an ideal platform for a single heavy artillery piece, mounted on the flat roof and able to traverse a 360 degree arc.

Martello Tower 1
Tower 1 stands 200 feet up on the cliffs above East Wear Bay, within sight of Towers 2 and 3 below, all of which could have benefitted from the addition of moats. It was quite possibly used by the Coast Blockade and Coast Guard, but was described as unoccupied and missing its outer skin of brickwork as early as 1870. By the 1970's Folkestone Corporation had bought the tower and begun repair work. By the 1990's, the stucco cement rendering had been replaced with one of brick, and with a ground-level door and extra windows added at both floor levels, the tower became a residence.

Timeline Tower 1
Longitude: 1.198859 - Latitude: 51.09138
GridRef: TR 2410 3732
Monument Number 465762

1806
1806 Built of brick.
1964
Field Investigation.
1970's
By: Purchased by the Folkestone Corporation.
20th C
Turned into a house.
Martello Tower 4
Tower 4, along with its neighbours up to No.9, were all built into deep dry moats, and were situated within the Shorncliffe Camp area, up on the heights overlooking the coastline. The moat wall was built of stone, the moat itself having been half filled-in by 1948.
The tower was fitted with a large slate water tank, and became one of the towers, along with Nos. 27, 31 and 55 to have semaphore signalling apparatus to send messages installed beside it by 1820.
It was occupied by the Royal Observer Corps during World War Two, but does not appear to have been used since.
The tower currently stands derelict covered in a thick layer of ivy in the garden of a private house. The brickwork appears to be in poor condition, although standing in its moat, covered in vegetation, very little of the tower can be seen.

Timeline Tower 4
Longitude: 1.155175 - Latitude: 51.07494
GridRef: TR 2112 3536
Monument Number 465771

*
PRIVATE PROPERTY
*
Water tank on ground floor.
1806
Built of brick and surrounded by a dry moat and outer glacis. Measuring 42.6ft in diameter and standing 32.8ft.
1820
Fitted with a Semaphore machine.
1939-1945
Gun post on roof. Occupied by the Royal Observer Corps.
1939-1945
Gun post on roof. Occupied by the Royal Observer Corps.
1948
Moat mostly filled in and used as a garden.
1964
Field Investigation
2000
Scheduled
Martello Tower 7
Tower 7 was used as military stores for a number of years and was said in the 1970's to still have its original wooden floor, but the condition in which the tower has been for some years, having no window covering, has probably caused severe decay by now.
The tower stands by the footpath that leads from Tower 6, and is surrounded by very dense vegetation, making it hard to find. Like Tower 6, it too is now outside the perimeter fence of the camp, and similarly stands dilapidated in an overgrown moat.

Timeline Tower 7
Longitude: 1.137181 - Latitude: 51.07489
GridRef: TR 1986 3530
Monument Number 463854

1805-1806
Built as a circular tower with walls measuring 5.5ft thick anda bridge across the moat. The magazine was on the ground floor and the garrison lived on the second floor.
19th C
Refurbished and the magazine expanded.
1964
Field Investigation.
1970's
1970's Possibly still had the original wooden floor.
1999
Scheduled.
21st C
Beginning: Derelict with the door bricked up and the moat overgrown. On the English Heritage Buildings at Risk Register.
Martello Tower 10
Hythe Promenade: Martello Tower 10 was sited near near where the Imperial Hotel now stands.

Timeline Tower 10
Longitude: 1.095878 - Latitude: 51.06789
GridRef: TR 170 344
Monument Number 463976

*
Stood near the Imperial Hotel.
1805
Built
19th C
Demolished when Promenade was constructed.
Martello Tower 13
Tower 13 stands on Hythe seafront in Western Parade and somehow survived the building of the promenade.
The War Department sold it in 1906, and in 1928 it became a residence, bought by A.J. Glock, a builder from Streatham. Alterations were carried out and the tower named 'Place Forte'.
It was sold again in 1937, to an Edgar Wheeler, and in 1940 was used as an observation post to direct the cross-Channel shelling operations.
It was sold yet again in 1960 to an architect, Ronald Ward, and used as a residence once more.
Further conversions were carried out, notably the addition of large windows and the removal of internal brickwork to form cupboards. The walls were also made thinner to increase floorspace, and a viewing platform and extra room added to the roof.
Such alterations were permissible at that time, but are unlikely to be allowed to be carried out on a scheduled ancient monument today. The large number of windows looks incongruous for a Martello Tower, but doubtless admits far more natural light than the orignal narrow embrasures.
The tower was renamed 'The Martello Tower', and mounted an original 24-pounder cannon outside, although this now appears to have been moved elsewhere.

Timeline Tower 13
Longitude: 1.079536 - Latitude: 51.06473
GridRef: TR 1587 3400
Monument Number 463948

*
PRIVATE PROPERTY.
1805
Built.
1906
Sold by the War Department.
1928
Used as a private house converted by A. J. Glock.
1937
Sold to Edgar Wheeler.
1940
Requisitioned and used as an Observation Post.
1960
Sold to Ronald Ward, architect, who converted it back into a house.
1962
1962 Field Investigation.
21st C
Beginning: Private house.
Martello Tower 16
Tower 16, being part of the low-level towers stretching across the beach at Hythe, and together with Tower 15 bolstered the defence of Fort Sutherland, a six-gun battery that stood between them.
The tower had been undermined by the sea in autumn 1938, with seaward side collapsing onto the beach in large pieces and the remains washed away gradually over the years.

Timeline Tower 16
Schedule

Date
Martello Tower No 16
Tower - Martello Tower No 16
Longitude: 1.064846 - Latitude: 51.06062 - GridRef: TR 1486 3350
Address:
County: Kent

Martello Tower. Monument Number 464018.

1805 Built.
1938 Eroded by the sea
1963 Filed Investigation.
21st C Beginning: Only small pieces of walling remain due to coastal erosion.
Martello Tower 19
Tower 19 once had an 'N' painted on it, denoting the range it was situated on. Unfortunately, it can no longer really be classed as standing, as its highest point is roughly 15 feet above the ground.
Fort Moncrief, a six-gun battery, was situated forward of and between Towers 18 and 19, but by 1873 had been encroached upon by the sea. Although its barrack buildings were intact, the parapet had been ruined.
At the same time, Tower 19 was predicted to have a "long existence" because it was protected from encroachment of the sea due to the ruins of the fort's parapet on the beach.
The tower was described by Commander Mead in 1948 as being on a slight rise in the beach, many of its neighbours having been washed away by this time.
The tide eventually claimed Tower 19 in about 1975, and the majority of the masonry now lies in large masses on the beach in front of the base which still stands.
It appears that some deliberate dismantling has taken place, possibly following intial collapse, as the brickwork is far too neatly cut off around the top of standing walls.

Timeline Tower 19
Schedule

Date
Martello Tower No 19
Tower - Martello Tower No 19
Longitude: 1.050819 - Latitude: 51.05568 - GridRef: TR 1390 3291
Address:
County: Kent

Post Medieval Martello Tower. Monument Number 464027.

1806 Built with two storeys and a central column and the walls measuring 5.5ft thick.
1962 Field Investigation.
1975 C; Damaged by the sea.
21st C Beginning: Northern half remains and the rest is damaged through sea erosion.
Martello Tower 22
Tower 22 was built as a twin to Tower 23, and their purpose was to defend the Willop Sluice in Hythe Road, Dymchurch, in order to allow the sluice to be opened and flood the area if necessary.
Sandwiched between the sea wall and a road, Tower 22 was the second most recent south coast Martello to be lost; it was destroyed in 1956, in an era before Martellos were regarded as ancient monuments.
Kent County Council ordered its destruction to make way for road widening, and, despite being in poor condition, proved so resistant to conventional demolition methods, that after several days of failure the Army was called in to use explosives. Even then, problems were experienced. After the smoke cleared from the explosion, it was found that the tower still stood. It took several explosions to finish Tower 22 off.

Timeline Tower 22
Schedule

Date
Martello Tower No 22
Tower - Martello Tower No 22
Longitude: 1.015459 - Latitude: 51.03645 - GridRef: TR 1151 3067
Address:
County: Kent

Martello Tower. Monument Number 464012.

1805 Built.
1956 Demolished for road.
1962 Field Investigation.
Martello Tower 25
Tower 25 defended the Marshland Sluice with Tower 24. It stands in a car park and by 1988 was in poor condition despite having been restored externally at the same time as Tower 24.
The roof and central pillar are missing for some inexplicable reason, but a replacement roof has been put in. It appears to have a manhole in it, as daylight can be seen by looking upwards through the windows.
By 1991, the stucco was being stripped off prior to work being carried out. Restoration has now taken place, and the tower has had its stucco rendering replaced. A new door has been knocked through at ground level, as the wooden floor is missing. New windows have been put in, although vandals have taken to breaking them. The vegetation growing on the roof and round the base has also been removed. Tower 25 is possibly the only empty tower that is regularly maintained, whereas others are just left to deteriorate.

Timeline Tower 25
Schedule

Date
Martello Tower No 25
Tower - Martello Tower No 25
Longitude: 0.9931458 - Latitude: 51.02227 - GridRef: TR 1001 2903
Address:
County: Kent

Martello Tower, observation post. Scheduled Monument. Monument Number 463767.

1806 Built standing 30ft high with walls measuring 5.5ft thick.
1963 Field Investigation.
1986 Scheduled.
1988 Fair condition.
1991 Restored. New floor and windows added.
Martello Tower 3
Tower 3 stands on the cliffs above Copt Point and overlooks the harbour below. From the 1850's, the tower was home to a number of Coast Guards and their families. In1990 was purchased by Shepway District Council and later opened as the Martello Tower Visitor Centre.
During renovation work in 1990, workmen clearing debris from the ground floor found a ramp sloping down into the foundations, leading into a pool of water, which was a natural source of water for the garrison.

Timeline Tower 3
Longitude: 1.197861 - Latitude: 51.08521
GridRef: TR 2406 3663
Monument Number 465768

1806
1806 Built.
1850's
Occupied by families of coastguards.
1890-1900
Owned and lived in by the Finn family.
1830
Painted in a landscape, by Turner.
1934
Word GOLF on the tower was considered an eyesore.
1940
Room added on roof and used as an Observation Post.
1943
Platform built on the Observation Post.
1964
Field Investigation.
1990
Visitor Centre opened by Shepway District Council and called the Martello Tower Visitor Centre.
Martello Tower 6
Tower 6 stands on the outskirts of Shorncliffe Camp, and was built just after the completion of the original barracks there. The tower stood near the camp officers' mess, which appears to have since disappeared. The tower was reportedly in an unaltered state in 1948, although long abandoned since.
The tower may have been manned during World War Two, as a small pillbox was built a short distance away to the east, at the top of the slope that leads down to a lower level.
Today it actually stands outside the perimeter fence of Shorncliffe Camp, and can be accessed via a public footpath. With the door bricked up, the stucco gone, exposing the brickwork and the moat overgrown with trees and vegetation, the tower is in a state of neglect. It stands derelict and has probably not been used since the war.

Timeline Tower 6
Schedule

Date
Martello Tower No 6
Tower - Martello Tower No 6
Longitude: 1.142354 - Latitude: 51.07538 - GridRef: TR 2022 3537
Address:
County: Kent

Martello Tower, moat. Scheduled Monument. Monument Number 465777.

* The ditch is covered in trees and overgrown vegitation.
1805-1806 Built with walls 5.5ft thick, magazine on the ground floor, the second floor divided into two and held the garrison.
19th C Late: Refurbished.
1948 Intact.
1964 Field Investigation.
1999 Scheduled.
21st C Beginning: On the English Heritage Buildings at Risk Register.
Martello Tower 9

Timeline Tower 9
Schedule

Date
Martello Tower No 9
Tower - Martello Tower No 9
Longitude: 1.125118 - Latitude: 51.07386 - GridRef: TR 1902 3515
Address:
County: Kent

Moated Martello Tower, revetment. Scheduled Monument.

* On the south west edge of Shornecliffe Camp.
1805-1806 Built with walls measuring 5.5ft thick. The magazine was on the gorund floor and the second floor was divided into two rooms and held the garrison, the gun emplacement was on the roof. The moat was lined with ashlar.
1964 Field Investigation.
1970's Ditch in good condition.
1999 Scheduled.
21st C Beginning: Derelict and on the English Heritage Buildings at Risk Register.
Martello Tower 12
Hythe Promenade: Martello Tower 12 was sited at the south end of Stade Street.

Timeline Tower 12
Schedule

Date
Martello Tower No 12
Tower - Martello Tower No 12
Longitude: 1.08504 - Latitude: 51.06593 - GridRef: TR 1625 3415
Address:
County: Kent

Post Medieval Martello Tower. Monument Number 463963.

* Stood at the south end of Stade Street.
1806 Built.
19th C Demolished when Parade was built.
1962 Field Investigation.
1963 Field Investigation.
20th C Late: Road built over the site.
Martello Tower 15
Also on the Hythe Ranges with Tower 14, Tower 15 had a 'D' painted on it, although this appears to have worn off. Fort Sutherland originally stood between 15 and Tower 16.
Standing further into the range danger area than Tower 14, the tower appears to be in a similar condition to its neighbour. The upper half of the brickwork is exposed where the outer skin of yellow brick has fallen off, although the general condition is reasonable.
The tower is currently empty, and the importance of the Hythe Ranges to the Ministry of Defence means that access and public use of Towers 14 and 15 is highly unlikely in the foreseeable future.

Timeline Tower 15
Schedule

Date
Martello Tower No 15
Tower - Martello Tower No 15
Longitude: 1.069946 - Latitude: 51.06219 - GridRef: TR 1521 3369
Address: *PRIVATE PROPERTY
County: Kent

Post Medieval Martello Tower. Scheduled Monument. Monument Number 463960. Grade II LIsted Building.

1806 Built with two storeys, three levels, and a flat roof, measuring 42.6ft in diameter externally and standing 32.8ft high.
1963 Field Investigation.
1999 Scheduled.
21st C Beginning: On the English Heritage Buildings at Risk Register.
Martello Tower 18
Tower 18 was undermined and washed away sometime after Tower 17, but before the Second World War. A photograph of Tower 17 collapsing with Towers 18-21 details printed in 'The Navy and Army Illustrated' in 1903.
As with Towers 16 and 17, the remains were said to still be visible during the 1970's, although as public access to the area is strictly denied, any surviving remains cannot be visited.

Timeline Tower 18
Schedule

Date
Martello Tower No 18
Tower - Martello Tower No 18
Longitude: 1.055051 - Latitude: 51.0571 - GridRef: TR 1419 3308
Address:
County: Kent

Martello Tower. Monument Number 464024.

1805 Built.
1939 Before: Eroded by the sea.
1962 Field Investigation.
21st C Beginning: Very few visible remains.
Martello Tower 21
The immediate neighbour of the Dymchurch Redoubt, Tower 21 was the last in the line of the low-level towers, most of which were lost to the sea. As with Tower 20, the tower was described as being in a critical position in 1873, and believed to have been washed away in the early 20th century.

Timeline Tower 21
Schedule

Date
Martello Tower No 21
Tower - Martello Tower No 21 (viewed 0 times)
Longitude: 1.041708 - Latitude: 51.05169 - GridRef: TR 1328 3244
Address:
County: Kent

Martello Tower. Monument Number 464033.

1805 Built.
1873 Very bad condition.
1962 Field Investigation.
20th C Early: Collapsed and washed away by the sea.
21st C Beginning: No remains.
Martello Tower 24
Tower 24 was paired with Tower 25 and they were built to defend the main Marshland Sluice. By the time of the 1841 Census, the tower was occupied by various Coast Guards and their families.
Tower 24 may have been occupied during the Second World War, but in the event, none of he Dymchurch towers were modified at this time, as happened to Tower 3 and some of those in Sussex.
The tower was first opened to the public as a museum in 1969, and remains as a museum of Martello Towers, owned by English Heritage. It is currently the only tower solely devoted to the history of the Martello Towers.
After again being used by the Coastguard up until 1959, the tower was acquired by the Ministry of Works and restoration work was begun. The internal timberwork was found to be rotten, and that of Tower 23 used as a guide. A new floor of the correct pattern was installed, and room partitions added.

Timeline Tower 24
Schedule

Date
Martello Tower No 24
Tower - Martello Tower No 24
Longitude: 0.9954089 - Latitude: 51.02419 - GridRef: TR 1016 2925
Address:
County: Kent

Martello Tower, lookout, coastguard station. Scheduled Monument. Monument Number 463770.

1806 Built standing 30ft high with walls measuring 5.5ft thick.
1841 Occupied by families of coastguards.
1959 Until: Used by the Coastguard.
1963 Field Investigation.
1966 Restored by the Ministry of Works.
1969 Opened as a museum by English Heritage.
1996 Scheduled.
21st C Beginning: Good condition.
Martello Tower 27
Built to guard Globsden Gut sluice gates, Tower 27 was the last Martello in Kent, before the chain continued into Sussex. (The Dungeness promontory was not defended with Martellos due to the loose shingle and the fact that the surrounding marshland could be easily flooded, providing a cheaper means of defence).
The tower was one of the four fitted with semaphore signalling equipment by 1820, the others being Towers 4, 31 and 55. By the 1840's, the Coast Guard seemingly occupied the tower. On June 15, 1847, the Chief Boatman of Tower 27 was ordered to dispose of the tower's donkey (used to carry water and stores) as the cost of forage was too high. He was to exchange the animal with another used at Lydd Coast Guard Station (which was deemed too vicious), and sell it at public auction in Dymchurch!
However, the above story conflicts with the Report on Coast Defences, which states that Tower 27 was "demolished in 1841 in consequence of the advance of the sea."

Timeline Tower 27
Schedule

Date
Martello Tower No 27
Tower - Martello Tower No 27
Longitude: 0.9826352 - Latitude: 51.01184 - GridRef: TR 0932 2784
Address:
County: Kent

Martello Tower, semaphore station. Monument Number 462705.

1805 Built.
1820 Held semaphore signalling equipment.
1840's Occupied by the Coastguard.
1841 Demolished.
1963 Field Investigation.
Martello Tower 2
Tower 2 is about 50 feet lower than No.1, and sited on a small knoll slightly further inland, where Wear Bay Road is now situated. The tower was purchased from Folkestone Corporation in 1964, converted into a house, with a swimming pool on the roof. This has been replaced with a full roof, similar to that on Tower 8.
Extra windows have been added and the exterior coated with a coloured lime rendering. Surrounded by tall trees and situated up a private track, the tower is really only visible from a high position, such as the roof of Tower 3. The tower is a private residence.

Timeline Tower 2
Longitude: 1.196939 - Latitude: 51.08839
GridRef: TR 23980 36981
Monument Number 465765

1806
Built to plans by Colonal Twiss and Captain Ford with two storeys and a flat roof.
1964
Field Investigation.
Purchased by the Folkestone Corporation.
20th C
Turned into a house.
Martello Tower 5
Tower 5 stands high up, in line with Sandgate Castle, the keep of which was upgraded to save building Martellos on the lower level.
The tower stands in the grounds of a secondary school and in 1934, plans were made to convert it into a chapel, but no work was actually done. In 1870, the original 24-pounder smooth-bore gun was still mounted, and it was recommended that it be re-armed with a medium gun.
It currently stands derelict in its moat, with its doors and windows sealed up.

Timeline Tower 5
Schedule

Date
Martello Tower No 5
Tower - Martello Tower No 5 (viewed 0 times)
Longitude: 1.150297 - Latitude: 51.07669 - GridRef: TR 2077 3554
Address:
County: Kent

Martello Tower, dry moat, glacis, revetment. Scheduled Monument. Monument Number 465774.

* Ditch used as a garden. Has two magazine compartments on the ground floor.
1805-1806 Built of brick and measuring 42.6ft in diameter and standing 32.8ft high, with a moat.
1870 Still held the original 24 pounder, smooth bore gun.
1934 Was to be turned into a chapel, but it never was.
1961 Scheduled.
1964 Field Investigation.
1970's In the grounds of a Girls School.
1999 Scheduled.
21st C Beginning: Derelict and on the English Heritage Buildings at Risk Register.
Martello Tower 8
Tower 8 is yet another tower which stands just outside the perimeter of Shorncliffe Camp, although further away than Towers 6 and 7.
It stood derelict in its moat and bricked up for many years, even being half buried up to its door level to provide easier access until the 1980's.
It has since been dug out and converted into a house, with a garden laid out in the moat. It has a new roof with windows built onto the parapet, and a wooden walkway to the door, built in a similar fashion to the original drawbridge across the moat. It bears an '8' as a house number.

Timeline Tower 8
Schedule

Date
Martello Tower No 8
Tower - Martello Tower No 8
Longitude: 1.130725 - Latitude: 51.07443 - GridRef: TR 1941 3523
Address:
County: Kent

Moated Martello Tower. Monument Number 463857.

1805 Built as a circular tower with walls measuring 5.5ft thick and surrounded by a moat.
1960's Derelict and bricked up.
1964 Field Investigation.
1999 De-scheduled.
20th C Late: Grounds landscaped.
Martello Tower 11
Tower 11, like towers 10 and 12, was demolished to make way for the promenade in the 19th century. It stood near where Saltwood Gardens is today.

Timeline Tower 11
Schedule

Date
Martello Tower No 11
Tower - Martello Tower No 11
Longitude: 1.088502 - Latitude: 51.06647 - GridRef: TR 1649 3422
Address:
County: Kent

Post Medieval Martello Tower. Monument Number 463966.

* Stood near Saltwood Gardens.
1805 Built.
19th C Demolished when Promenade was constructed.
1963 Field Investigation.
Martello Tower 14
Tower 14 stands within the danger area of the Hythe Ranges and at one time, had an 'A' painted on it to denote the range it stood on. It was used to fly a red danger flag whenever the ranges were in use, although a small guardhouse nearby performs this function today. The tower stands near some butts in the form of a raised bank with numbers along the top.
Instead of a stucco covering, the tower has an outer layer of yellow brickwork, although this is probably not original. The upper brickwork is exposed, and some of the stone parapet coping has been lost. The windows have been bricked up, but in a way that allows ventilation.

Timeline Tower 14
Schedule

Date
Martello Tower No 14
Tower - Martello Tower No 14
Longitude: 1.074162 - Latitude: 51.06334 - GridRef: TR 1550 3383
Address: *PRIVATE PROPERTY
County: Kent

Martello Tower. Schedueld Monument. Monument Number 463954. Grade II Listed Building.

1806 Built with two storeys, three levels, and a flat roof, measuring 42.6ft in diameter externally and standing 32.8ft high.
1963 Field Investigation.
1999 Scheduled.
21st C Beginning: MOD property with the windows bricked up and on the English Heritage Buildings at Risk Register.
Martello Tower 17
Standing on the low-level beach at Hythe, Tower 17 is probably that which was mentioned in the Times of February 1899:

"The Martello tower near the Grand Redoubt at Dynchurch has been split in two by the action of the sea sucking away the shingle from the base."

The crumbling ruins with towers 18, 19, 20 and 21 behind, was printed in 'The Navy and Army Illustrated' in 1903. The Tower stood on 'E' Range, and was painted with a letter denoting this.

Timeline Tower 17
Schedule

Date
Martello Tower No 17
Tower - Martello Tower No 17
Longitude: 1.05603 - Latitude: 51.05896 - GridRef: TR 1425 3329
Address:
County: Kent

Monument Number 464021.

1805 Built.
1939 Before: Destroyed through sea erosion.
1962 Field Investigation.
21st C Beginning: Very few remains.
Martello Tower 20
Tower 20's position was described as being "critical" in 1873, and it is believed that it was washed away during the early part of the century. A photograph published in 1903 , shows the sea encroaching towards the line of towers.

Timeline Tower 20
Schedule

Date
Martello Tower No 20
Tower - Martello Tower No 20
Longitude: 1.046409 - Latitude: 51.05373 - GridRef: TR 1360 3268
Address:
County: Kent

Martello Tower. Monument Number 464030.

1805 Built.
1873 Very bad state.
1962 Field Investigation.
20th C Early: Collapsed.
21st C Beginning: No remains.
Martello Tower 23
Tower 23 was built to support Tower 22 in guarding Willop Sluice and was said by Commander Hilary Mead in 1948 to have "the appearence of the garrison having marched out a few weeks earlier". Mead also photographed the original 24-pounder cannon lying on the firing step on the roof. The interior condition was such that Tower 23 was used as a guide when the restoration of Tower 24 was in progress.
Tower 23 was itself restored externally in the early 1970's at a cost of £4,500. A ground-level door was knocked through the seaward wall, and by the 1990's the tower was being lived in.
Tower 23 has a new roof extension and was put up for sale for £850,000 in 2004.

Timeline Tower 23
Schedule

Date
Martello Tower No 23
Tower - Martello Tower No 23
Longitude: 1.011634 - Latitude: 51.03466 - GridRef: TR 1125 3046
Address:
County: Kent

Martello Tower. Scheduled Monument. Monument Number 464015. Grade II Listed Building.

1806 Built measuring 30ft high with walls 5.5ft thick. A magazine was on the ground floor with two rooms above it.
1948 Good condition.
1962 Field Investigation.
1970's Early: Externally restored at a cost of approximately £4,500.
1970 Scheduled.
1990's Lived in.
2004 For sale for £850,000.
Martello Tower 26
Tower 26 guarded the Globsden Gut sluice gates along with Tower 27, although the sluice had become disused by 1870.
The sea had encroached towards the tower, and so groynes and an apron were built to protect it. The structures were themselves being washed at high tides by 1870 and the Report on Coastal Defences (compiled in 1870, but not submitted until 1873) predicted that Tower 26 "will probably soon have to be abandoned." The report subsequently stated that the tower was demolished in 1871.

Timeline Tower 26
Schedule

Date
Martello Tower No 26
Tower - Martello Tower No 26
Longitude: 0.9836911 - Latitude: 51.01496 - GridRef: TR 0938 2819
Address:
County: Kent

Martello Tower. Monument Number 462703.

1805 Built.
1870 Disused.
1871 Demolished as it had become derelict.
1963 Field Investigation.
Sandgate Castle
Sandgate Castle was built in 1539 by Henry VIII to defend the lower shore of Sandgate, as part of the second major coastal defence scheme to be implemented in Southern England. (The Roman Saxon shore forts were the first, the Martello Towers being the third.)
Parts of the outer expanses have been lost to the sea over the centuries, but the circular keep survived at the top of the beach. This was converted into a sort of Martello Tower, and meant that a tower did not need to be built on this lower stretch of the coast, the local towers all being high up on the cliffs slightly inland.
Redoubt Dymchurch
Two redoubts were constructed into the south coast Martello chain to act as supply depots for the local Martellos, and were originally described as 'eleven-gun towers'. It was originally proposed to build a four-gun tower at Dymchurch, but this idea was revised at the Rochester conference of 1804.The other redoubt was at Eastbourne.
Dymchurch Redoubt was built between 1806-1809 to the same specifications as its Eastbourne counterpart, although Dymchurch does not have any caponiers. (Caponiers are blockhouses in the moat that allowed the garrison to cover the entire ditch with defensive musket fire - Eastbourne Redoubt has five).
Dymchurch also underwent significant re-fortification during the Second World War, bunkers and pillboxes adorning its parapets. The gun platforms were encased in concrete for machine-guns to be mounted, artillery emplacements constructed and an observation post erected.
Martello Towers History
Martello towers are small defensive forts built in several countries of the British Empire during the 19th century, from the time of the Napoleonic Wars onwards.
They stand up to 40 feet (12m) high, with two floors, and typically had a garrison of one officer and 15-25 men. Their round structure and thick walls of solid masonry made them resistant to cannon fire, while their height made them an ideal platform for a single heavy artillery piece, mounted on the flat roof and able to traverse a 360 degree arc. A few towers had moats for extra defence. The Martello towers were used during the first half of the 19th century, but became obsolete with the introduction of powerful rifled artillery. Many have survived to the present day, often preserved as historic monuments.

Martello towers were inspired by a round fortress, part of a larger Genovese defence system, at Mortella (Myrtle) Point in Corsica. The designer was Giovan Giacomo Paleari Fratino (el Fratin), and the tower was completed in 1565.
Since the 15th century, the Corsicans had built similar towers at strategic points around the island to protect coastal villages and shipping from North African pirates. The towers stood one or two storeys high and measured 12-15 m in diameter, with a single doorway 5 m off the ground that one could access only via a ladder which the occupants could remove. Local villagers paid for the towers and watchmen, known as torregiani, who would signal the approach of unexpected ships by lighting a beacon fire on the tower's roof. The fire would alert the local defence forces to the threat. Although the pirate threat subsequently dwindled, the Genovese built a newer generation of circular towers that warded off later foreign invasions.

On 7 February 1794, two British warships, HMS Fortitude (74 guns) and HMS Juno (32 guns), unsuccessfully attacked the tower at Mortella Point. The tower eventually fell to land forces, under Sir John Moore, after two days of heavy fighting. What helped the British was that the tower's two eighteen pounders fired sea-ward, while only the one six pounder could fire land-ward.
Vice-Admiral Lord Hood reported:

'...The Fortitude and Juno were ordered against it, without making the least impression by a continued cannonade of two hours and a half; and the former ship being very much damaged by red-hot shot, both hauled off. The walls of the Tower were of a prodigious thickness, and the parapet, where there were two eighteen-pounders, was lined with bass junk, five feet from the walls, and filled up with sand; and although it was cannonaded from the Height for two days, within 150 yards, and appeared in a very shattered state, the enemy still held out; but a few hot shot setting fire to the bass, made them call for quarter. The number of men in the Tower were 33; only two were wounded, and those mortally.'

Late in the previous year, the tower's French defenders had abandoned it after HMS Lowestoffe (32 guns) had fired two broadsides at it. Then the French were easily able to dislodge the garrison of Corsican patriots that had replaced them. Still, the British were impressed by the effectiveness of the tower when properly supplied and defended, and copied the design. However, they got the name wrong, misspelling 'Mortella' as 'Martello'. When the British withdrew from Corsica in 1803, with great difficulty they blew up the tower, leaving it in an unusable state.

The interior of a classic British Martello tower consisted of three storeys, sometimes with an additional basement. The ground floor served as the magazine and storerooms, where ammunition, stores and provisions were kept. The garrison of 24 men and one officer lived in a casemate on the first floor, which was divided into several rooms and had fireplaces built into the walls for cooking and heating. The officer and men lived in separate rooms of almost equal size. The roof or terreplein was surmounted with one or two cannon on a central pivot that enabled the guns to rotate up to 360 degrees. A well or cistern within the fort supplied the garrison with water. An internal drainage system linked to the roof enabled rainwater to refill the cistern. During the first half of the 19th century, the British government embarked on a large-scale programme of building Martello towers to guard the British and Irish coastlines. Around 140 were built, mostly along the south coast of England. Governments in Australia, Canada, Minorca, South Africa and Sri Lanka also constructed towers. The construction of Martello towers abroad continued until as late as the 1870s but was discontinued after it became clear that they could not withstand the new generation of rifled artillery weapons.

The French built similar towers along their own coastline that they used as platforms for communication by optical telegraphs. The United States government also built a number of Martello towers along the east coast of the US that copied the British design with some modifications.

Great Britain and Ireland were united as a single political entity, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, from 1801 to 1922, spanning the time during which the Martello towers were erected (the initial scheme started under the previous entities of the Kingdom of Great Britain and Kingdom of Ireland). Consequently the Martello towers of Great Britain and Ireland can be considered to have been part of a single defensive system, designed to protect the coastlines of the two main islands of the British Isles as a whole. This is most clearly visible on the south and east coasts of England, and the east coast of Ireland, where chains of Martello towers were built. Elsewhere in the world, individual Martello towers were erected to provide point defence of strategic locations.

Between 1804 and 1812 the British authorities built a chain of towers based on the original Mortella tower to defend the south and east coast of England, Ireland, Jersey and Guernsey to guard against possible invasion from France, then under the rule of the Emperor Napoleon. A total of 103 towers were built in England, set at regular intervals along the coast from Seaford, Sussex, to Aldeburgh, Suffolk. Most were constructed under the direction of General William Twiss (1745-1827) and a Captain Ford. Included in the scheme were three much larger circular forts or redoubts that were constructed at Harwich, Dymchurch and Eastbourne; they acted as supply depots for the smaller towers as well as being powerful fortifications in their own right.

The effectiveness of Britain's Martello towers was never actually tested in combat against a Napoleonic invasion fleet. They were, however, effective in hindering smuggling. After the threat had passed, the Martello towers in England met a variety of fates. The Coastguard took over many to aid in the fight against smuggling. Fifteen were demolished to enable the re-use of their masonry. The sea washed thirty away and the military destroyed four in experiments to test the effectiveness of the new rifled artillery. During the Second World War, some Martello towers returned to military service as observation platforms and firing platforms for anti-aircraft artillery.

Forty-seven towers survived in England, a few of which have been restored and transformed into museums, visitor centres, and galleries, some are privately owned or used as private residences; the remainder are derelict. A survey of the East Coast towers, in 2007, found that the remaining 17 were in a reasonable condition.
Dover Express - Friday 3rd October 1873
Dover Express - Friday 03 October 1873

DEMOLITION OF No. 10 MARTELLO TOWER. The Royal Engineers' Experimental Committed attended at Hythe on Monday, and proceeded to carry out their operations against No. 10 Martello Tower, which had been condemned at the instigation of the Seabrook Estates Company (Limited), who contemplate, when the new branch from the South- Eastern line of railway is completed, building here a splendid watering-place that shall outrival Scarborough in the beauty of situation, if it does not in the beauty of popularity. Martello Towers are Very unsightly structures, and would certainly be any thing but an ornament to the Seabrook marine parade of the future. It was, therefore, highly necessary that such obstruction should be removed; its removal also afforded another opportunity for our military engineering school to experilmentalize on a large scale and determine the effect of a supposed improved explosive force. Gun-cotton has been, we know, an invaluable agent of the engineer. From time to time it has been improved, and when scientifically handled it one of the best explosive powers we have at command, its force, weight for weight, being nearly fives times greater than gunpowder, as was demonstrated a short time back at Hastings.

The quality selected for this experiment was nitrated gun-cotton of Waltham Abbey manufacture, and the quantity was fixed at 1501bs. weight, subdivided into three heaps. In the centre of each heap were placed two fuses suprounded by a primer of loose dry gun-cotton, the great bulk being wet. charges were fired by means of a service pattern dynamo-electric machine, the connecting wire being about five hundred yards long. The interior of the tower was denuded of all fittings, and the doors and embrasures were not, some supposed, stopped up to give greater effect to the explosion.

By the time appointed (two o'clock) the whole of the arrangements were completed, and with the aid of a company of the Royal Engineers from Shorncliffe and the Kent County Constabulary the ground in the vicinity of the tower was cleared of curious spectators who had assembled to see the novel sight. The signal being given, a loud report followed, and the tower was suddenly enveloped in a dense mass of smoke. As this gradually cleared the tower became visible, at a distance appearing a little unshapely, and with some terrific rents and cracks in its wall, but still a dangerous-looking tower. A close inspection showed that the effect of the explosion had been to sever the walls longitudinally from base to crown in eight different places. A tremendous crack extended the whole of the circumference, about two-thirds the total height from the ground, and the upper portion was displaced as if had received a sudden wrench. Masses of brickwork, weighing several tons, had become detached, and fallen on the beach on the southern side. The centre pillar of solid brickwork which supported the roof was entirely demolished, and with it, of course, the roof had disappeared. The tower had apparently been skinned of its outer course of bricks for a considerable distance on its upper surface, while the base of the building, with the exception of the longitudinal cracks previously mentioned, appeared little worse for the strong convulsion it had undergone. It is noteworthy that none of the fragments appeared to fly any great distance, and although several articles and debris were scattered about in the immediate neighbourhood of the tower, none appeared disturbed by the explosion.

The explosion hardly effected the result desired, but this is more owing to the accidental sustaining force lent by each separated mass of brickwork to the other after the explosion than any want of force in the agent employed. The experimenting committee appear to have arrived at the exact quantum of explosive matter required for the demolition of this class of building, and that their theory should be thus far borne out by actual result is a matter of congratulation both to them and the country.
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