Napoleon, St Patrick’s landing point & rocky islands

This is one of 2 Martello Towers in Skerries. This area has extensive views up north to the Mourne Mountains and down south as far as Howth and so, therefore, is a perfect vantage point for keeping an eye on the coast from unwanted invaders. This Martello is located near the harbour and another one is on Red Island. There were approximately 50 of these towers built along the Irish coastline by the British in the early 1800s. These were the first line of defense against a possible Napoleonic invasion. The name ‘Martello’ is thought to be a corruption of Mortella, a place in Corsica where a fortified tower was used to resist British forces during 1793. The British were so impressed with its design that they copied it and used the same design all over the Commonwealth. Over time these towers have passed into private ownership or have been converted for other uses. The tower on Red Island was used as a ballroom in the 1920s, which was replaced in the 1940s by Toft’s Amusements. This tower is unfortunately closed at the present time. This was also, reputedly, the point where St Patrick landed in Ireland. The name ‘Skerries’ comes from the Norse word ‘sceir’, meaning reef or rocky islands.