Martello Tower No. 1
Martello Tower No. 1 lies in the town of Folkestone, in the county of Kent in England.
In the beginning of the 19th century the British Empire feared a French invasion by Napoleon. So to resist this potential invasion 74 Martello towers were built along the Kent and Sussex coastlines from Folkstone to Seaford between 1805 and 1808. None, however, were ever used in combat during the Napoleonic Wars. 45 of the towers still remain, but many are in ruins or have been converted, only 9 remain in their original condition.
Martello towers were inspired by a round fortress at Mortella Point in Corsica (completed 1565). In 1794 two British warships for 2 days unsuccessfully attacked this tower. This impressed the British who copied the design for the British Martello Towers. The name changed from Mortella into Martello due to a misspelling.
The small round defensive forts followed a standard plan, though varied in size. A typical South East Martello would be about 13.7m in diameter at base and up to 12m tall. The masonry walls were built of brick and were up to 2.5m thick. Inside there were two main floors, the lower floor housing supplies and a powder store, and the first floor the men's quarters and officer's quarters. A single Martello housed between 15 and 25 men; a garrison of up to 24 men and 1 officer. The flat roof would be equipped with one ore more cannon. The entrance would be about 3m above ground level, reachable by a rectractable ladder.
Martello Tower No. 1 is private property and at present being converted into a house. It can not be visited.