HC Deb 17 March 1887 vol 312 c526
MR. NORRIS (Tower Hamlets, Limehouse)

asked the Secretary of State for War, The number of Martello towers that are situate on the coast between Brighton and Dover, and if he can say for what purposes they are used; if the sites of these Martello towers could not be adapted, at a very small cost, to a "disappearing system" of fortifications, by substituting a pit in place of the tower and adopting the Moncrieff gun carriage; what, if any, fortifications exist on the South East Coast, from Pevensey Bay to Pett Level; and, whether the old Military Canal at the last-named place, now unused, could not be adapted to defensive purposes?


(who replied) said: There are 43 Martello towers between Brighton and Dover, one of which is armed with a 7-inch rifled breech-loading gun. Nineteen carry smooth-bore ordnance; and the remainder are used as barracks, or let. the sites could be made use of for guns; but the towers themselves could not be adapted to "disappearing," or any other modern mounting for heavy guns. With the exception of 14 towers, all at Povensey, there arc no fortifications between Pevensey Bay and the Pelt Level at Winchelsea. The old Military Canal retains its value as an obstacle in the event of a hostile force landing in the neighbourhood.