The East Coast Martello Towers post has now been updated with our latest research, which makes it the most complete and up to date general reference on the east coast towers that you will find on the internet! We also collaborated with professional photographer Ian Giles, and many thanks to him for negotiating the necessary permissions and travelling up to Essex and Suffolk to photograph all of the remaining towers.
We now have two Martello towers featured posts:
Both posts feature a google map showing the locations of the towers, and photography of all the towers (still have a few gaps on the South Coast article which will be filled soon…).
The East Coast towers were built around the same time as the South Coast towers starting in 1809. The South Coast towers were built to prevent Napolean’s armies reaching London from the south, and similarly the East Coast towers were intended to prevent the French from reaching London from the East and North. The East Coast lacks the large chalk cliffs of the South Coast and so the flat lands would have made a good alternative landing place for Napolean’s planned invasion despite the longer sea journey, especially if the low countries could have been used for the launch of the invasion.
The East Coast towers were built larger and more heavily armed than the South Coast towers, as a defence against the larger ships that the French might have used if they had chosen the East Coast as the invasion point. In addition to the towers, there were the pre-existing gun batteries, and there were plans to block the entrances to the rivers Blackwater, Colne and Orwell with barges. Continue reading