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St. Mary's Tower

St. Mary’s Tower



The idea of constructing a tower on Comino dates back to 1418 when a special tax was levied on imported wine. However the money collected was not used to build the tower but ended in the coffers of the King.  This building of this tower was fundamental in the defence against Turks who often landed in areas where there were no defensive structure. It was built in 1618 against the cost of 18,682 Scudi (quite a large sum however transportation cost have to be taken into account). The Tower is raised on a platform and further on a plinth.  The aim of this tower was to provide communication between Malta and Gozo via Comino, to defend the Gozo Channel and to prevent smuggling. During time of crises the garrison of the tower was increased up to 60 soldiers given its remote location. It was also armed with a number of canons in 1761 the armaments were two iron 12-pdr, one bronze 10-pdr, one bronze 4-pdr and two bronze 3-pdr.  During the Blockade (1798-1800), Comino became an area of confinement of spies. In 1829 it was abandoned by the British Military and in later years handed to the civil authorities. During both World Wars it was used by the Military. In 1982, the Government handed it to the army to be used against contraband and other illegal activities (such as hunting at sea). However during this period repairs were to the barest minimum. However very recently it was restored to its former glory.

 

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