Rine Martello Tower

Map Reference: M241117 (1241, 2117)

This martello tower is situated at the extreme end of Finavarra Point which projects into Galway Bay from the north coast of Co Clare. In common with the other 50 or so martello towers in Ireland it was probably built at the beginning of the 19th century. They probably slightly predate their British counterparts, and, unlike the British towers which are of plastered brick, they are usually built of fine ashlar granite. They are named after the defensive towers found at Cap Mortella, Corsica. There are several similar towers found in the Canary Islands.

This is a typical, and excellent, example. It is three storeys high with a doorway at the first floor level. There is no sign of a machicolation protecting the doorway, as has been found in other towers. The interior is not accessible but it is probably similar to other towers. There is probably a single room at the first floor with a spiral stairway within the thickness of the wall giving access to the ground floor level and the roof level. The ground floor is usually divided into smaller rooms one of which is the magazine. This level can also be reached through a trapdoor in the floor above. At the roof level there was usually a gun-emplacement and traces of this are often found.

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