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Martello tower in the marshes being converted to a residential property, Bawdsey, Suffolk, England. Martello towers were built along the coast as defences against invasion during the Napoloenic Wars. Between 1804 and 1812 the British authorities built a chain of towers based on the original Mortella tower to defend the south and east coast of England, Ireland, Jersey and Guernsey to guard against possible invasion from France, then under the rule of the Emperor Napoleon. A total of 103 Martello towers were built in England, set at regular intervals along the coast from Seaford, Sussex, to Aldeburgh, Suffolk.