The Magilligan Martello Tower is a Martello Tower located on the Magilligan Peninsula (Co. Derry, Northern Ireland). This tower dates back to 1812, following the Napoleonic Wars. The tower was used as a base of surveillance by the British, who feared a possible French invasion.
The Magilligan Martello Tower is a round tower dating back to Napoleon. It is one of the 74 towers on the island of Ireland.
Built on 3 floors, its walls are 2.5 meters thick. The top floor was a firing platform. The middle floor was used as accommodation for 12 men and an officer. The floor below was used as a cellar where there was a drinking water well, weapons, gunpowder and food.
Among the other subtleties of the building, the tower is equipped with an entrance door located 3 meters above the ground (an iron staircase, added in the 20th century allows access to it). This door, located high up, is quite characteristic of the Martello Towers in Ireland. It was used to avoid the intrusion of enemies: at the time, a ladder allowed entry. It was immediately removed to protect itself and prevent the entry of enemies.
Beyond this door, the tower was also equipped with 2 defensive cannons of 10kg each. These could be pivoted to sweep the approaching ships.
For the record, the Magilligan Martello Tower was completed late, in 1817, two years after Napoleon was exiled on the island of St. Helena. (There was no longer any threat then).
The garrison stationed here, therefore, never fired on any enemy. The Tower was therefore of relative use until 39-45, when it was rehabilitated to face the danger of the Second World War. At that time, the tower underwent some modifications and was equipped with a kind of semi-buried mini-bunker.
Nowadays, the tower is closed to visitors, but there is nothing to prevent you from admiring it from the outside. It is a vestige of the 19th century: a building that still bears witness to the ancient conflict between the British and France, then to the conflict of 39/45.
It is a historic site which is located not far from Benone beach, a beach on the Magilligan Peninsula. Do not hesitate to go there after your visit to the Martello Tower. The beach is beautiful, and faces the Renvyle Peninsula (Co. Donegal).