Since opening in 2005 as an arts and heritage centre Jaywick Martello Tower has grown to become one of the most innovative cultural attractions in Essex, hosting an extensive programme of events and exhibitions based on the themes of “Heritage, Environment and Community”. Set against the dramatic seascape of the Tendring coast, the Tower’s distinctive shape catches the imagination of all – holidaymakers, schoolchildren, local residents and international artists. Its location in Jaywick, a seaside town with its own vivid history and strong community spirit, is the backdrop for a diverse range of activities:
- Film shows
- Contemporary art installations
- Historical exhibitions
- Local artists’ exhibitions
- Free & paid creative workshops
- Heritage days & re-enactments
- Hires & partnership events
Training And Workshops For Creative Art
When the Tower is open:
Due to covid-19 the tower has had to limit its opening times and activities.
Weekends 10-4pm till end of October. The tower will be back open to the public in March, Spring 2021.
During the winter 2020/2021 JMT will be producing an online platform to continue to showcase talks, workshops, shows and more. Stay up to date through our social media pages or get in touch via our email address. We would love to hear from you.
Find out, pass on..
Question: So exactly, what is a Martello Tower?
Answer: Early 1800s Britain was under threat from France. After overthrowing its Monarchy in the Revolution of 1789, France was in a state of turmoil until 1799, when Napoleon declared himself First Consul. The French Senate later made him Emperor in 1804. Napoleon’s ambition was to create a large Empire covering most of Europe, but Britain felt he was becoming too powerful, resulting in war between the two countries known as the French wars, from 1793 until the ‘Peace of Amiens’ in 1802. However, war was again declared on 16th May 1803. In the Mediterranean, British ports were in danger of attack from Napoleon’s fleet, but at home Britain was also in danger of invasion from the highly effective army, causing the nation to go into panic.
In 1794 the British fleet in the Mediterranean was attacking port defences on the island of Corsica. Defending the bay of San Fiorenzo was a small fort with guns pointing to the sea in order to repulse invading ships. With their larger guns, HMS Juno and HMS Fortitude were confident that they could destroy the fort.
However, this small fort at Mortella Point held off the ships’ superior fire power and drove the fleet back. The tower was of considerable interest to the fleet command: If a small carefully designed fort could drive the British fleet back so effectively, then the British could use similar towers to defend their own ports. Military despatches recorded the Corsican tower as ‘Martello’ instead of Mortella, and all the British built towers became known as ‘Martello Towers’.