Martello tower

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Mar·tel·lo tower

A short, circular tower, usually made of stone and located near a shoreline as a defensive fortification.

[After Cape Mortella, Corsica, where such a tower was taken from French control by British forces in 1794 (influenced by Italian martello, hammer, in torre di martello, hammer tower, a kind of watchtower of the coasts and islands of the Tyrrhenian Sea from which an alarm signal was given by striking a bell with a hammer rather than by lighting a fire).]

Martello tower

(mɑːˈtɛləʊ) or


(Fortifications) a small circular tower for coastal defence, formerly much used in Europe
[C18: after Cape Mortella in Corsica, where the British navy captured a tower of this type in 1794]

Mar•tel′lo tow`er

(mɑrˈtɛl oʊ)

a circular fort.
[after Cape Mortella, Corsica, where a tower of this kind was taken by British forces in 1794]

martello tower

An English artillery coastal fortification copied from a tower captured in Corsica 1794; 74 were built on the east and south coasts of England against the French invasion threat 1805–12.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.martello tower - a circular masonry fort for coastal defencemartello tower - a circular masonry fort for coastal defence
fortress, fort - a fortified defensive structure
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