17 Nov Martello Towers in Mauritius
The Martello towers are widely known because they exist in various parts of the globe, especially on the English coast, in Canada, in Jamaica and in Sri Lanka. In total, one hundred and three Martello towers were constructed throughout the world by the English between 1810 and 1846, to defend the British under the dominion of a possible landing of French troops, the enemy of always.
The Martello towers of Grand Riviere North West, Preneuse, Belle Mare and Port Louis are the four remaining towers of the five towers built by the English in 1834. A masterpiece of ingeniosity made of raw sculpted stone, Lime and teak, among others. It took three years to complete the construction of these five towers, a height of 30 feet, a diameter of 43 feet on the outside and 28 feet on the inside making a wall of 11 feet thickness.
Erected at strategic points on the island, one at Fort George in Port Louis, two at Grande Riviere North West and two at Riviere Noires, these towers were designed to be defense points in case of attack. The building is divided into four levels; The basement or the officers stored water and food, the ground floor where the powder magazine was located, the first floor was used as a sleep-rooms and kitchen for the soldiers and the roof sheltered cannon. However, none of the Martello towers was used during a battle. Hence the disappearance of Fort George and Fort Victoria, between 1880 and 1902, following the development of the Port.
With the development of Port Louis in the 20th century, the Great Northwest River Tower served for many years of warehouse for ammunition and explosives of the SMF. That of the Preneuse, she, has been transforated into a museum. Inside, the guide explains the internal structure of the building. The sub-base is divided into three parts, which you can see through the windows placed in the floor. The rainwater is harvested and kept in a large reservoir which occupies two thirds of the subsidence. The rest of the level is occupied by the powder magazine and the pantry. Finally, on the roof of the tower, a 24-pounder gun is mounted on a central pivot. The barrel could turn 360 degree to reach its target or it is. The scope of this type of cannon is 2km!
Towers, thus built by the British to defend themselves from the French.