Martello Tower Bermuda
Martello Tower, located at the Ferry Point in St. George's Bermuda, was built by the British Army at the time of Major Thomas Blanshard. The construction of the fort started in 1823 and completed in 1828. It was built to protect Ferry Reach,
a channel that runs from St George Harbor
to Castle Harbor
The fort looks like a cylindrical egg shaped tower. It's made of hard Bermuda stones. The walls are 9-11 ft. thick & resistant to cannon fire. The only access to the tower is through a narrow drawbridge over a moat to the second level. The British had built many such Towers in other countries during the 19th century. But this was the only one built in Bermuda.
The towers were named after the place Cape Mortella in Corsica. This is where 22 men from a large circular tower had put up a spirited fight against British attack in 1794, although they had to finally surrender after two days of intense battle.
The British were so impressed with such a structure that they went on to construct such circular towers all over the east and south coasts of England and called them Martello Towers.
Martello Tower Bermuda
The towers were typically 40-feet high and had a garrison of one officer and 15-20 men. It had a single cannon mounted on its flat roof.
If you climb up to the top of the tower, you get a great view of the coastline and can easily understand the advantage the British army had from here while protecting the Ferry Reach.
Towards the north of the tower, there is a magazine room that stored up to 220 barrels of gunpowder. The walls of this magazine was further strengthened with flying buttresses. However, the roof of the magazine was kept weak so that in case of any explosion, the roof would be blown off while the magazine would still remain intact.
The fort was restored in 2008. A cannon from the St. Catherine Fort
has been brought in and mounted on the tower so that it looks like the original one of 19th century.
Update May 2016: A new bridge has been installed at Martello Tower to access the fort over the dry moat. The metal bridge has been constructed in Bermuda. The tower will be open this summer to tourists.
Martello Tower is open from 10am to 2pm during the summer time. During winter, you will need special permission from the Department of Parks Bermuda, to enter the fort.
It's located on the high grounds and near the western tip of Ferry Point Park
, St. George. You can reach St. George by ferry (Orange ferry route from Dockyard operating in summer), or by bus route #1, 3, 10, 11 (operating between Hamilton and St George).
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1) Check out Bermuda Forts
to know about the historic forts in Bermuda.
3) Check out St. George's
to find out other great attractions in the parish.
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