Martello towers, sometimes known simply as Martellos, are small defensive forts that were built across 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° arc. A few towers had moats or other batteries and works attached 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.
In the later half of the 19th century, there was another spate of tower and fort building, during the premiership of Lord Palmerston. These fortifications are therefore correctly called the Palmerston Forts, although, because they are circular in design, some confuse them with Martello towers.
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... Martello towers (or simply Martellos) are small defensive forts built in several countries of the British Empire during the 19th century, from the ... panic proportions amongst the authorities in Ireland and England in 1804 and the first towers were built in Ireland that year ... fleet tried to sail up the River Shannon, two towers were built on the middle reaches of the river to defend its crossing points ...
Famous quotes containing the word tower:
“So was produced this tragedy
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To strict Rapunzel to let down her hair.”
—Allen Tate (18991979)