In 1803 when Ireland was involved in the Coalition Wars, also known as the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars; the south coast of the island (then ruled by the British), was considered to be the most vulnerable to a French invasion which made them develop a defence strategy by building 16 Martello Towers along the seafront. Construction began immediately between Dublin and Bray after being authorised by the Defence Act of 1804. They also built 12 on the north side of the country.
In present times only 9 of the original towers remain; 2 have been restored as Museums (Sandycove and Seapoint), 4 are being currently used as private residences while 3 others have been kept well maintained but are not in use.
Only 5 minutes’ walk from Aberdeen Lodge you will find Tower No.16- Sandymount, used until recently as a restaurant. However back in 1945 an anti-craft gun and searchlight was installed at the tower which was considered to be one of the largest ones of the south coast. Tower No. 16 was used to house up to 20 soldiers and even though the towers were not needed as the invasion never happened, the gun was used just once.
The Towers that no longer exits are:
Tower No. 1 Bray Beach
Tower No. 3 Corke Abbey on strand north of Bray
Tower No .4 Bray Mahera Point Killiney Bay
Tower No. 5 Shanganagh Cliffs
Tower No. 8 Ballybrack
Tower Dún Laoighaire
Tower . Dún Laoighaire Harbour