Jaywick Martello Tower
is a renovated Martello tower
that functions as an art, heritage and community venue. Situated in Jaywick
, just south of Clacton-on-Sea
, the Tower, was built in 1809. It was originally one of twenty-nine Martello towers situated on the east coast of England. The towers were constructed to defend the country against the threat of invasion by Napoleon Bonaparte and his armies. In total, 103 Martello Towers were built between 1804 and 1812. Seventy-four were built between 1804 - 1808 along the Kent and Sussex coastlines from Folkestone to Seaford, and twenty-nine were constructed along the east coast between Point Clear near St Osyth and Aldburgh from 1808 - 1812. The south coast towers were numbered 1 – 74, while the east coast towers were lettered A – Z. Three additional east coast towers are known as AA, BB and CC.
The bricks for the east coast towers were made at Grays in Essex using London Clay
and transported to each site by barges. The brick walls of the east coast Martello Towers are 2 to 3 metres thick (between 8-12 feet) and they are about 10 metres (40 feet) high. The east coast towers were constructed with approximately 750,000 bricks. On the roof were three cannons, usually a 24-pounder facing out to sea and two smaller Howitzers
at each side. Jaywick Martello Tower still has the original piviots of the cannons on the roof.
The name ‘Martello’ is derived from a similar military sea defence tower at Mortella Point in Corsica
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