More than 900 visitors stepped back in time and visited the 200-year-old Martello Tower during a weekend of celebrations, according to Limavady Borough Council which hailed the event “a resounding success”.
Built in 1812, the imposing tower at Magilligan Point was opened to the public to celebrate its birthday, allowing visitors a glimpse into life there two centuries ago.
“Limavady Borough Council and the Northern Ireland Environment Agency are delighted with the success of the 200th Anniversary Martello Tower celebrations at Magilligan Point over the weekend,” said a Council spokesperson.
Limavady Mayor, Councillor Cathal McLaughlin and Rhonda Robinson, Assistant Director, Northern Ireland Environment Agency, kicked off birthday celebrations by cutting a birthday cake in the shape of Northern Ireland’s only Martello Tower.
“Over the weekend in excess of 900 recorded visitors enjoyed a visit to the Tower at Magilligan Point, Limavady to learn of what life was like in the Tower back in 1812 and beyond,” said the spokesperson.
“Informative and colourful re-enactments portrayed by the Irish Arms Living History Group, dressed in battledress of the 1800’s, enthralled over 500 visitors with cannonfire demonstrations throughout the birthday celebrations on the Saturday afternoon.”
Mark Cranwell, a ranger from Roe Valley Country Park, provided a display of weaponry and historic artefacts and recounted the history and heritage of the Magilligan Tower, and the other Martello Towers, constructed around the same time to withstand and protect these islands from enemy invasion.
“Staging the event over this particular weekend provided an ancillary event on the Magilligan side of Lough Foyle to the mass start of the ninth leg of the Clipper Challenge Race and many of the visitors to the Tower celebrations took the opportunity to view this spectacle from both the beach and tower at Magilligan Point,” said a spokesperson.
“The Shackleton Aviation Museum based in the Ferry Terminal building also reported a marked increase in the number of visitors through their facility.”
Council say “due to the success of this joint initiative between Council and the Northern Ireland Environment Agency” it is planned to open the Magilligan Martello Tower on the following dates over the summer season:
28th & 29th July 2012
11th & 12th August 2012
25th & 26th August 2012
8th & 9th September 2012
For more information call Limavady Council on 028 77722226.