Limavady Borough Council and the Northern Ireland Environment Agency are planning to celebrate the 200th Anniversary of the Martello Tower at Magilligan Point, Limavady over the weekend of 6 – 8 July 2012. The Tower will be open each day from 12 noon to 6.00pm and staff from the Environment Agency will be in attendance to guide visitors and recount stories about life in the Tower during its period of usage.
Saturday 7 July 2012 will mark the special Tower Birthday celebrations when the Mayor, Cllr Cathal McLaughlin and a representative from the NIEA will cut a special birthday cake at 12.30pm. From 1.00pm to 5.00pm there will be Living History Talks of what life was like in the Tower back in 1812 and battle re-enactments by the Irish Arms Living History Group. You may even have the opportunity of playing an active role in the battles!! The Shackleton and Aviation Museum, based at Magilligan Point will also be delighted to welcome visitors to view its wonderful historic displays.
Later in the afternoon visitors to the Tower celebration event will be able to view the mass start of the 9th leg of the Clipper Challenge Race which leaves Lough Foyle on its way to the Netherlands. Other vantage points in the Borough to view the Clipper yachts are Gortmore Viewpoint on the Bishops Road and on the beautiful sands of Benone Strand.
So come along and join in this family day out – why not bring a picnic or avail of the excellent menu available at the Point Bar.
Martello Towers are named after a fort at Mortella Point in Corica which successfully withstood bombardment from the Royal Navy in 1794.
The British were so impressed with the strength of the tower that they copied its design and in 1804 they started building similar towers in England. The Martello Tower you see at Magilligan Point is one of the best preserved of the 40 surviving towers on the Irish coast.
The building of this tower began in 1812 and, together with the more unusual double gunned tower across the Lough at Greencastle in Co. Donegal, it was built to control the narrow mouth of Lough Foyle.
When this tower was built it stood close to the tip of Magilligan Point. Since then a build up of sand has formed several ridges of dunes between the Tower and the Point. These dunes now form part of the Magilligan Point Nature Reserve.
[Text selected from location signage by Northern Ireland Environment Agency]