Between 1805 and 1808 the British government built small artillery forts known as ‘Martello towers’ along the south-east coast between Folkestone and Seaford. Their purpose was to defend the most vulnerable coastal areas against the expected invasion by the French army of Napoleon Bonaparte. Dymchurch Martello Tower is a fine example, and has been restored to resemble its original appearance – with garrison accommodation on the first floor, a storeroom for food, coal, water and ammunition below, and a powerful 24-pounder gun on the roof.
Managed by the Friends of Martello24 – visit their website to find out more about the history of the tower and information about becoming one of their volunteers.
Before You Go
Parking: There is no parking at the tower but the public pay-and-display Central Car Park is a two-minute walk away.
Access: Access to the tower is by a metal staircase to the first floor, and once inside, access to the roof / gun platform and to the ground floor is by very steep stairs. Unfortunately this means that the tower is not particularly suitable for people with mobility problems.
Opening times: The interior of the tower is not currently open to visitors but we hope to reopen in summer 2021. In recent years it normally opens from 2pm to 4pm at weekends and bank holiday from April to October.
Facilities: There are no facilities at the tower but there are public toilets at the nearby Central Car Park, and the tower is in the village of Dymchurch with shops and places to eat close by.
Train: The tower is around a five-minute walk from Dymchurch Station on the Romney, Hythe & Dymchurch Railway.
Dogs: Assistance dogs only are welcome.
Group visits: During the closed winter season from November to March bespoke visits may be available by appointment for recognised groups of ten people or more. For more information and to arrange a visit, please email the Friends' group's secretary.
Plan a Great Day Out
Why not make a day of exploring coastal fortifications?
The spectacular stronghold of Dover Castle is also just 15 miles away, with a selection of cafés and well stocked gift shops. Nearby Camber Castle is situated in the Rye Harbour Nature Reserve. If you're heading towards East Sussex, be sure to visit the 1066 Battle of Hastings Abbey & Battlefield with it's sculpture trail, rooftop views, and exhibition.