Saturday, 15 September 2012

Martello

There are many Martello Towers around the British coast and nowhere more so than around the South-East corner of the country.  Here in Folkestone, proximity to the European mainland has meant that the area has always been on the 'front line'.  Built during the 19th century, these towers were built to house an officer and up to 25 soldiers and were to provide an artillery base.  They were built to withstand cannon fire and so have very thick walls.  This is one of many which still remain to this day - although it now seems to be defending a golf course.
Folkestone was well worth defending and, paradoxically attacking, because of its harbour- still in use today as a fishing base.
There is still a railway line which runs across the harbour wall and onto the dock area where steamers would once have taken tourists to and from France.  This rail link necessitated the construction of a swing bridge to allow boats in and out of the inner harbour area.
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