Defending our land

Bawdsey coastline

Click to enlarge.

This picture contains far more information than is immediately apparent.  In the sea are remnants of groynes,used as a defence against a constant threat from the force of the sea.  The shore leading to the distant tower has been reinforced, also as a defence against erosion.  But the sea has not been the only enemy.  The tower is a Martello Tower, one of 103 built in 1803 and placed strategically along the coasts of Suffolk and Sussex as protection against possible attacks from Napoleon.  During World War II this bay had an ‘Admiralty Scaffold’, a defence structure against enemy invasion, and this photo is taken within 10 yards of a gun battery and lookout tower  –  further reminders of World War II.  Radar was first developed less than 2 miles from this point.  About 8 miles away, at Sutton Hoo, is an important Saxon burial site, thought to be the resting place of the first East Anglian king, Raedwald, who died in AD624  –  a reminder that invasions are not a latter day phenomenon.

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3 Comments

Filed under Sea, Shore, Thoughts, Uncategorized

3 responses to “Defending our land

  1. In addition to the 103 towers built along the English coasts, 115 towers were built by the English in different countries: South Africa, Canada, Jamaica, … and here in my island: Mauritius. Three Martello towers can be found here in Mauritius. Two of those are not in very good condition, but the third one has been refurbished and can now be visited to see how the tower operated at that time.

    • Thank you for your comment. It encouraged me to find out more. I knew that Martello towers were built outside the UK – I had been surprised when we came across one in Menorca – but I was not aware of the number or the geographical spread. It seems that wherever the British went they built at least one, often in seemingly unlikely locations like Sri Lanka, Sicily and Liberia.
      Your comment also served as an invitation to your own delightful site. Your love of your country is infectious and it is sensitively presented.

      • Yes, when I visited the Martello museum, they told us about the history of these towers. Its name come from a tower at Cap Mortella in northern Corsica built by the French. The British wanted to capture the island from the french but were forced to withdraw with serious damage the first day on account of the single tower’s cannon fire… After two more days of continuous battle, the tower finally surrendered. The British were so impressed that they had the design copied and built them, probably in most of their colonies…
        Thank you for your nice words. I’m happy to see that the love I have for this island does come through!! 🙂

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