It’s always interesting to see the new uses to which old and sometimes quirky buildings are put. One such example is the Jaywick Martello Tower.
It was originally built as one of 29 towers to defend the east coast against an invasion by Napoleon in the early nineteenth century, and was restored and re-opened in 2005 as a creative centre, supporting the local community, its heritage and environment. It holds regular exhibitions and workshops which relate to its coastal location.
During this autumn a series of talks are being held on Friday mornings (more details). I attended one called “Holiday Plotlands and Caravan Sites” by Sean O’Dell. The location was the perfect place for a talk on the subject, and Sean was a knowledgeable and enthusiastic speaker.
The tower is very atmospheric, and is obviously working hard to engage with the local community. But, unless you live in the Tendring area or very near by, it’s not a venue that you would specifically travel to see on its own.
So, for a themed itinerary, after the Tower, drive up to coast to the Naze Tower at Walton on the Naze, which is now also a gallery, and a cafe. Then head on to the Harwich Redoubt (read our report on our last visit there), which is much larger and was built to supply and support the Martello Towers. After that head off for a walk up the coast a little way into Harwich Old Town and finishing off at the Alma Inn or the New Bell Inn, or perhaps lunch at The Ship Restaurant and Gallery (more about this walk here) for yet more art!
We put details of Jaywick Martello Tower events on our monthly listings – but check out their website.