Martello P has a new look

As many of you know, I've been following the story of Martello Park from waste ground to park and housing development. The centrepiece is Martello Tower P which has undergone a restoration to something nearer its original appearance. The tower was originally built in around 1813 as a defence against possible invasion by the French. A whole series of these were built on the south and east coast between 1805 and 1815, with the larger east coast ones being built last. Each had a large gun on top and towers were usually built within view of one another. There were originally seven on the Felixstowe Peninsula but only four complete ones survive. There are the remains of a fifth incorporated in the Bartlet and the foundations of a sixth under Trinity Terminal.

Tower P originally had a dry moat which was filled at an early stage after the Napoleonic Wars and it appears to have been used as some sort of lookout afterwards. It found use in both World Wars as a wireless station and after 1945 was used by the Coastguard Station. It is now in the possession of Suffolk Coastal District Council and the lookout position on the top of the tower is still used by National Coastwatch.

Funds have been made available through WREN which channels environmental and heritage money which is given by the landfill industry for the restoration of the tower as a visitor centre, which includes, roof repairs and windows. The main bulk of the money has gone one replacing the flaking pebble dash with lime render, which would have been there originally. Lime render takes months to set and I understand that the covers were on for nearly a year because the first attempt didn't take.

Storm Barney in November damaged the covers and scaffolding, so they were removed to reveal Martello P's new look - and good it is too. I'll be taking the camera inside when it opens to the public.