Saint Thomas Tower

Marsaskala, Malta

Saint Thomas Tower is a large bastioned watchtower in Marsaskala. It was built above the shore on the seaward face of the headland of il-Hamriga in Marsaskala. It is a substantial fortification intended to prevent the landing of troops in the sheltered anchorages of Marsaskala Creek and St Thomas Bay. Construction of the tower was approved in July 1614, weeks after the raid of Żejtun, in which an Ottoman fleet managed to land at St Thomas Bay. The tower was named after a chapel dedicated to St Thomas which stood close to where the tower now lies.

The tower has very thick walls and has four pentagonal bastioned turrets projecting outwards on each corner. The tower's entrance was through a vaulted doorway with a wooden drawbridge. The drawbridge is still partially intact and it is the only original one to have survived in Malta. The tower is surrounded by a rock-hewn ditch.

After the De Redin towers were built, St Thomas had Żonqor and Xrobb l-Għaġin Towers in its line of sight, but these are now either in ruins or completely demolished.

In 1715, St Thomas Tower was reinforced by the addition of a battery on the seaward face. During the French blockade of 1798–1800, the tower was stormed and captured by Maltese insurgents.

The tower remained in use by the British until the 19th century. At some point, the tower was also used as a prison.

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Address

Torri, Marsaskala, Malta
See all sites in Marsaskala

Details

Founded: 1614
Category: Castles and fortifications in Malta

More Information

en.wikipedia.org

Rating

3.9/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Victor Bonett (5 months ago)
Going through restoration. Will look good once finished
David Grixti (7 months ago)
Never lived near something this old before. Incredible piece of history.
David Spiteri (13 months ago)
A pity it is kept closed and the surrounding a bit filty
Carlos Villalobos (2 years ago)
Big, beautiful tower from 1614. plenty of parking near by. right next to an abandoned hotel and the salt pans on the beach.
Alexandra Ferencz (2 years ago)
Unfortunately this place looks better on pictures than in real life. It's closed to the public and its surroundings are neglected. It has a potential though, I hope one day it could be visited inside too.
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