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The interior of a barrack room in a Martello Tower, 1812 (c)

Oil on canvas by Captain William Ford, Royal Engineers, 1812 (c).

Scenes like this are very rare. It shows soldiers off duty in living quarters, furnished with bunk-beds, a table and a fireplace. Around the central pillar of the tower hang cartridge pouches and a rack of muskets.

The artist, Captain William Ford, first suggested the use of Martello towers to protect against invasion. These were small forts built along the British and Irish coasts during the Napoleonic Wars (1803-1815) and in the years that followed. Most had a garrison of one officer and around 15 to 25 men who manned the fort's artillery. Similar forts were built in British overseas possessions in the Caribbean, Canada and the Mediterranean.

NAM Accession Number

NAM. 1996-04-7-1


National Army Museum, Out of Copyright


National Army Museum, Formation gallery

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