Martello Tower P down on the Felixstowe seafront off Langer Road is being renovated as part of the development of the surrounding area by Bloor Homes. This Tower has a particularly interesting history, from the time it was completed just in time to miss the end of the Napoleonic Wars to the closure of the nuclear bunker in 1968 just five years after it was built in the Tower’s grounds. Questions about defence spending are evidently nothing new!
Touching the Tide has produced a set of interpretation boards, covering the original design and purpose of the tower, its role in the fight against smuggling, the importance of the Stour and Orwell as a major naval base in WWI, and the Tower’s final role preparing for the End Of The World.
The first board explains why the Towers were built as part of the defence against Napoleon, how they were armed, and the controversey surrounding their cost.
The third traces the growth of Felixstowe in the later 1800s and early 20th Century.
The forth explains how important the Orwell naval base was in the First World War, and the Tower's role as a signal station.
The final board explains the Tower's role as a cold war bunker, designed to monitor a nuclear attack against the UK.