Sunday, May 15, 2011

Martello Towers, Jersey

Martello Towers

Another small collection of photos of towers on the island of Jersey has found its way to me....this time courtesy of Simon Park. All of Jersey's towers were built between 1779 and 1837, to provide protection against a feared French invasion. As it was, none of them saw action.

Above. La Rocco Tower.

La Rocco Tower lies off the West coast of Jersey, at the Southern end of St Ouen's Bay. It was the twenty third tower to be built and was the last to be based on the Jersey round tower design. La Rocco was built in 1796 and by all accounts appears to have been a very expensive affair. Funds ran out soon after building was started and the army had to request further funds to finish it. The tower was finally completed between 1798 and 1801. The gun platform at the top of the tower would have been able to house five thirty two pounder guns and would have provided a formidable line of defence had the French decided to attack the coast here. The Germans badly damaged the tower during the Second World War, when it was used for target practice by German artillery from the Jersey main land. La Rocco was finally restored in 1969 following a public appeal for funds.

Above. An as yet unidentified tower. Details to follow!

Above. First Tower.

This tower's name is a bit of misnomer in that it wasn't the first tower to be built on Jersey. It was originally known as St Aubin No 1 but soon became known as First Tower....a name it now shares with the surrounding area. The tower can be found a few miles North West of St Helier. First Tower was built around 1787 and was one of three towers built to provide protection around St Aubin's bay. After the threat of French invasion had gone, it was abandoned before finding various peace-time uses. It was used as a base for a windmill, a water tower for storing water for plants along Victoria Avenue and, more recently, a vent for a sewer pumping station. When it was in active military use, First Tower was manned by about ten men from the Royal Invalid Battalion.

My thanks to Simon Park for providing the photos.

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