Your guide to Martello Towers in the UK and throughout the world.

Martello Towers in Suffolk

Along the East coast of the UK, there were originally 29 Martello towers built, between 1808 and 1812.  Page Under Construction
These towers stretched between St Osyth in Essex and Aldeburgh in Suffolk,  and originally there were 11 in Essex and 18 in Suffolk.

The Towers in Suffolk:
Index IconFelixstowe L
Index IconFelixstowe M
Index Icon Felixstowe P
Index Icon Felixstowe Q
Index Icon Felixstowe R
Index Icon Felixstowe T
Index Icon Felixstowe U
Index Icon Bawdsey V
Index Icon Bawdsey W
Index Icon Bawdsey X
Index Icon Bawdsey Y
Index Icon Alderton Z
Index Icon Shingle Street AA
Index Icon River Ore BB
Index Icon Aldeburgh CC

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Martello Tower L Shotley Point

Suffolk, was not possible to visit but in 2000 (Breen and Sommers 2002) it was recorded as being in good condition and that there were remains of the forward battery surviving.This tower is derelict, previous work has stated that there are surviving original features inside. It is a good example of its type, the area has not suffered from erosion and it seems likely that there are buried deposits in the immediate area.

 
 
 

Martello Tower M, Shotley Point

This tower was visible from the adjacent marina and appeared to be in poor condition, the large water tank on top of the tower may be having a negative impact on the structure, large cracks were visible and the entire tower seemed to be leaning slightly.This tower looked to be in worse condition than most of the other sites, even Tower K, which is on the Buildings at Risk Register. Its being placed on the Buildings at Risk Register seems warranted if a more positive solution can not be found.

 
 
 

Martello Tower R Felixstowe

Tower R is now built into what was Bartlett Hospital above Undercliff Road East in Felixstowe. The hospital closed in 2006 and was converted into flats in 2013. The tower was built with a moat and glacis. It was thought lost for a long period of time but does survive to the height of the glacis wall having been slighted and subsequently used as the Boiler room underneath what was the the Bartlett Hospital.

 

Martello Tower R in Felixstowe
Martello Tower R  (front)

Martello Tower R Rear
Martello Tower R  (front)

The tower itself has lost its outer brick skin and has been partially rendered, the condition of the tower is generally good although the chance of many original features surviving seems very remote.
Most of the original land holding may be disentangled from more recent development and the boundary seems to have been preserved over three quarters of its length. 

The surviving portion of the tower appears to be around half the full height of the tower, with brickwork which is still in good condition and the moat and glacis are both equally well preserved.

 Historic England Logo Historic England Listing

 
 
 
 

Tower L, Shotley Point, Suffolk, (NGR:TM 2483 3366, scheduled and grade II listed) was not
visited as it was impossible to gain access to the former HMS Ganges site.This tower was built with
a moat and glacis although previous work has noted that these have been filled-in. From a distance
the tower appears to be derelict but in good overall condition.Work carried out by Suffolk County
Council in 2000 noted that there appears to be the remains of the forward battery still surviving.
The area of the battery associated with Tower L is recommended for further investigation … [as
there are] some suggestions that parts of the battery might still survive (Breen & Sommers 2002,
13-5).There appear to still be traces of the land parcel boundary surviving in modern maps of this
area.
Tower M, Shotley Point, Suffolk, (NGR:TM 2513 3415, scheduled and grade II listed) was not
built to support a forward battery and was built without a ditch. It was not possible to get close
to this tower as access proved impossible to the former HMS Ganges.The tower could be seen
from the marina,which showed that the tower is in poor condition with large vertical cracks in the
brickwork, this may be as a result of the extra pressure on the building because of the water tank
on the roof. It was noted that the tower appeared to be leaning slightly, which shows the extreme
pressures which its fabric must be under. Part of the original boundary can still be perceived on
modern maps of the site.
Towers L and M are both associated with the defence of the Shotley peninsula, there were two
associated batteries and the area was re-fortified in the 1860s, in the 20th century the site had
many training buildings constructed for the Royal Navy and the fortifications were neglected
(Aitkens 2003, 2-3)
The “Old Battery”, Shotley Point, Suffolk, marked on a plan from the 1860s is no longer
tracable; it was situated on the seaward side of the marina roughly

Between 1805 and 1812 eight Martello Towers were built on the Felixstowe Peninsula as a defence against a possible invasion by Napoleon's forces. These squat, ovoid-shaped brick-built towers were immensely strong and were inspired by an ancient watch tower at Mortella Point in Corsica. Part of a larger network along the east and south coast of England, the towers were named with letters of the alphabet.
 
Martello L Felixstowe Private, unused
Martello M Felixstowe Once a water tower, now unused & private
Martello P Felixstowe Coastguard lookout, now unused
Martello Q Felixstowe Converted to a house
Martello T Felixstowe Private, unused
A fifth Tower 'R' is incorporated into the fabric of the former Bartlet Hospital, which has been converted into new housing.
Martello U Felixstowe Unused
Martello V Bawdsey Pulled down and made into a sunken garden when Bawdsey Manor was built in late 1800s
Martello W Bawdsey Converted into a house in 1985
Martello X Bawdsey Washed into the sea in the early 20th century
Martello Y Bawdsey Converted into a house in 2010
Martello Z Alderton Unused
Martello AA Shingle Street Converted to house
Martello BB River Ore Demolished in 1822
Martello CC Aldeburgh Unique quadruple tower south of the town. Owned by The Landmark Trust, available for rent.

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