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Martello tower. One of a number of battered two-storeyed circular or elliptical fortified towers built on the coasts of the British Isles from 1804 as a precaution against invasion by the French, named after Cape Mortella, Corsica, where a watch-tower of similar form was occupied by a British garrison in 1794. Good examples can be seen on the Suffolk coast between Aldeburgh and Bawdsey. Most were constructed under the direction of General William Twiss (1745–1827) and a Captain Ford.
Martello tower any of numerous small circular forts that were erected for defence purposes along the SE coasts of England during the Napoleonic Wars. The name comes from Cape Mortella in Corsica, site of a small circular fort which was recaptured with some difficulty by the English fleet on 8 February 1794; its design was then used as a basis for fortifications in the British Isles from 1804.
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