Martello tower

Also found in: Thesaurus, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.

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).]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

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]
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014

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]
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.

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.
Dictionary of Unfamiliar Words by Diagram Group Copyright © 2008 by Diagram Visual Information Limited
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
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.
Mentioned in ?
References in classic literature ?
At its opposite extremity the street leads to a deserted martello tower, and to the forlorn outlying suburb of Slaughden, between the river Alde and the sea.
Magdalen drew her hand from the captain's arm, and led the way to the mound of the martello tower. "I am weary of walking," she said.
A dilapidated windmill near by lifting its shattered arms from a mound no loftier than a rubbish heap, and a Martello tower squatting at the water's edge half a mile to the south of the Coastguard cottages, are familiar to the skippers of small craft.
It has in its park a martello tower, autographed all over by tourists, a dismantled old French fort on the hills beyond the town, and several antiquated cannon in its public squares.
The Gordon Elliott-trained Dark Decade is a half-brother to Albert Bartlett winner Martello Tower, and Philip Dempsey's recent recruit Rock On Aussie is a half-brother to Grand Annual winner Rock The World.
Meanwhile, Luminous has also been commissioned by the Suffolk Coast & Heaths to create a virtual model of a Martello Tower.
On Friday 16 through to Sunday 18 August, light was projected from Jaywick Martello Tower and Golf Green Hall to highlight the current flood plain and the extent of the devastating floods of 1953.
While water near the pier was found to be poor, water at Clacton Beach Martello Tower is safe to swim at and was classified at excellent.
Contact: 028 7776 6050 VINEYARD CAR BOOT SALE, FARMERS' MARKET AND CRAFT SALE Date: Tomorrow Time: 9am-1pm Venue: The Vineyard Complex Hillmans Way, Ballycastle Road, Coleraine MARTELLO TOWER Date: Tomorrow Time: 11am & 3pm Venue: Martello Tower, Magilligan Come and see Napoleonic soldiers and the way that they lived.
The ultimate result will be an interactive, immersive, experience (with participants employing virtual reality goggles and gloves) to digitally visit the Martello Tower in Sandycove, south of Dublin, where Joyce's novel Ulysses begins.
DIPPY DWELLING: Martello Tower sits on the beachfront of the Suffolk town, near the mouth of the River Alde.