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Report - Martello tower, Alderton - July 2011

Vii Sins

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
#1
This tower is situated on the Suffolk coast between Shingle St and the World War Two gun battery at East Lane, Bawdsey. Originally there were 29 towers built along the East coast in the early 1800s (74 having been previously built along the South coast) to ward off the threat of an invasion by Napoleon. Towers in this chain were identified by letter, A-Z, then AA-CC, those on the South coast by number.
Here is tower Z, now standing derelict, though others close by have been converted into homes.

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The doors to martello towers are always on the first floor, leading in to what would have been the living quarters. Anyone following our footsteps, careful how you tread. The original oak floor is very rotten and it is about a 15ft drop to the ground floor below.
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Even the boards that someone has thoughtfully provided for support are starting to rot and in places give alarmingly underfoot.
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The original trap down to the ground floor, which would have been reached by a long gone ladder. There is still a metal ring in the ceiling directly above the trap that would have allowed items to be lowered into the stores.
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A bit of a blurry hand through a hole in the floor job, gives an impression of the ground floor which would have housed the artillery magazine and stores, including a water tank.
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The doors always face inland.
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There are two stairways from the first floor emerging at either side of the gun platform on the rear of the roof. They are built into the walls which are between 12 & 15ft thick, being most dense on the seaward side.
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Window.
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On the roof there are positions for 3 guns which were mounted on these pivots.
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This tower had an additional concrete pillbox/lookout post built onto it in the second world war.
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Machine gun mount.
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It was a real joy to visit this tower. On the roof, on a perfect summers day, it was just a fantastically peaceful place to be.
 

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