Martello Towers in Suffolk
Along the East coast of the UK, there were originally 29 Martello towers built, between 1808 and 1812.
These towers stretched between St Osyth in Essex and Aldeburgh in Suffolk, and originally there were 11 in Essex and 18 in Suffolk.
Martello Tower L and Martello Tower M at Shotley Point are within the now closed HMS Ganges training establishment, and both have been surmounted by water tanks and, in the case of L, a radar arm.
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.
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.
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 appear to be the remains of the forward battery still surviving.
Martello Tower M at Shotley Point is located within the now-closed HMS Ganges training establishment and has been surmounted by a water tank.
The Martello Tower is visible from the adjacent marina and appears 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.
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 (front)
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.
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
Martello Y at East Lane Bawdsey won a RIBA award for its conversion to a private house.
This unique quatrefoil Martello Tower stands at the isthmus leading to the Orford Ness shingle spit. It is the largest and northernmost of 103 English defensive towers built in 1808–1812 to resist a threatened Napoleonic invasion. The Landmark Trust now runs it as holiday apartments.
The Martello Tower is the only surviving building of the fishing village of Slaughden, which had been washed away by the North Sea by 1936. Near the Martello Tower at Slaughden Quay are barely visible remains of the fishing smack Ionia.