The Martello Tower in Howth is strategically located overlooking Howth Harbour and out beyond the bay to Ireland’s Eye. The fear of an invasion by Napoleon Bonaparte reached panic proportions at the end of the 18th century and this was the reason why the British built Martello Towers all around the Irish and then the English coastlines. They provided what was then ‘bombproof’ military lookout towers from which fire could be directed at invading ships out at sea from the land. The name “Martello” is derived from the name of a tower at Mortella point in the gulf of Fiorenzo. It is believed that an error occurred during communication between the sides and the word ‘Martello’ was written instead of ‘Mortella’. Nearly all are circular in shape and made from locally sourced stone. The entrance doorway of the towers are 3.0 metres from the ground so a ladder then could be removed to protect against an invader. In Dublin, only 21 towers remain standing and many are derelict, some demolished, some are owned by government departments, and others are privately owned. Today, Howth’s Martello Tower house’s a vintage radio museum that exhibits radios and gramophones from the early 1900’s to present day.

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