One of the great joys of the DLR Events Summer of Heritage series is it allows the public free access to sites and attractions normally held under lock and key. With its breathtaking views and fascinating history, Seapoint Martello Tower is a perfect example of a beautiful coastal gem that can only be visited in the summertime.
Martello Towers are unique feature of the Dublin coastline. Built in 1804 to defend Ireland from the threat of a Napolenic invasion, some of the remaining structures have become well-known landmarks and multi-purpose spaces. The Howth tower houses the Hurdy Gurdy Radio Museum, while the Sandycove one is the world-famous James Joyce Tower and Musuem, which was written about in recent features in Lonely Planet and The New York Times.
The Seapoint Tower is the only other standing of the four ‘Dún Laoghaire’ towers that used to include the People’s Park and a site near Bord Iascaire na Mara. The seven towers that no longer exist on the South Dublin coastline are:
Tower No. 1: Bray Beach, near where the Esplanade Bandstand is now.
Tower No. 3: Corke Abbey on strand north of Bray.
Tower No .4: Bray Mahera Point Killiney Bay.
Tower No. 5: Shanganagh Cliffs (Battery only constructed )
Tower No. 8: Ballybrack now site of old Killiney rail station.(Battery only)
Tower No.12: Dún Laoighaire/Glasthule site of People’s Park.
Tower No.13: Dún Laoighaire Harbour vicinity.
We’re lucky to have so many towers left in good condition, and at least a few that are open to the public all year round, or at least part of the Summer of Heritage series or Open House, when the spectacularly refurbished Bartra Tower in Dalkey is usually open to the public for one day only. It is also available to rent on AirBnb.
Every Saturday, Sunday and Wednesday until September 4, you can visit the Seapoint tower and enjoy a free guided tour at 2pm, 3pm, 4pm or 5pm.