A talk entitled ‘The Martello Towers of Dublin & Bray’ will be presented on Tuesday the 14th January at the Glenview Hotel, Glen o’ the Downs, Co. Wicklow for the Kilmacanogue History Society at 8.30pm.
The presentation will explore the history of the Martello Towers of Dublin and Bray, as the story of the 26 towers and 10 batteries stretching from Balbriggan to Bray is traced from their Mediterranean origins up to the 21st century. Their history begins among the wars between the great European powers, describing the original ‘Martello Tower’ that was the inspiration, but surprisingly not the architectural model for the Martello Towers which would be built on five continents between 1796 and 1917.
The presentation outlines why Martello Towers were built so rapidly, who they were expected to fight, and what happened to them when the crisis of the Napoleonic Wars passed. The journey begins amid Mediterranean battlefields and the threat of an invasion of Ireland which gave rise to artillerymen tensely staring at the horizon waiting for the sails of a French Armada to creep around Bray Head. The story recounts how the towers changed and evolved over time from gun platform, to object of derision, to property investment and into both an architectural icon and part of our everyday experience of the Dublin coastline.