Martello Tower Celebrates 4 July 2012
Martello Tower celebrates its 200th anniversary!
The Martello Tower, at Magilligan Point, Limavady , celebrates its 200th anniversary from 6 – 8 July 2012. The tower will open its doors on this special occasion to give the public a rare glimpse inside from 12 noon to 6pm each day.
The Martello tower at Magilligan is unique in Northern Ireland, but was built as part of an international scheme of coastal defences against the threat of invasion by Napoleon. The circular tower is superbly preserved, and immensely strong, with walls 9ft thick and over 30 ft high. Inside, a narrow, spiral staircase leads down into the basement magazine, used for storing gun powder, and up onto the gun platform, where the 24 pounder cannon used to sit.
Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA) will have staff available throughout the three days to guide visitors and recount stories about life in the Tower in the early 1800s. On Saturday 7 July Limavady Borough Council will mark the Towers birthday celebrations with the cutting of a special birthday cake and NIEA will hold ‘Living History’ talks from 1pm – 5pm of what life was like in the Tower back in 1812. There will also be battle re–enactments by the Irish Arms Living History Group dressed as Napoleonic soldiers performing drills with muskets , setting up camp and a firing cannon display.
Commenting on Martello’s archaeological heritage and 200th anniversary celebration Rhonda Robinson, Acting Assistant Director, NIEA said: “This is a wonderful opportunity to see the Martello Tower as it really should be seen – complete with Napoleonic soldiers, muskets and firing cannons. This is our only Martello Tower in Northern Ireland, and it’s 200th birthday celebrations is the perfect occasion to invite people to come along and learn more about it. The re–enactments will help to really bring the place to life for the day and give us a fascinating glimpse of the life of the soldiers who would have been stationed here in 1812.”Limavady Borough Council Mayor, Cllr Cathal McLaughlin said: “I am delighted that Limavady Borough Council and the Northern Ireland Environment Agency have come together to organise an event marking the 200th anniversary of the construction of the Martello Tower at Magilligan. This will give many people the opportunity to visit Magilligan Point and learn what life was like in the tower back in 1812.”So come along and join in this family day out – why not bring a picnic and enjoy the re– enactments and step back into our archaeological heritage.To minimise traffic congestion in the area a free park and ride facility will be in operation at Point Road, Magilligan on Saturday 7 July from 12 noon to 7.00pm.