By Ruth Doherty
A Martello tower on the shores of the Suffolk coastline has been transformed into a cutting-edge, luxurious holiday home.
Set in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty on the Deben Peninsula and looking across to Bawdsey village, Found Tower is the perfect modern-meets-historical getaway.
Martello towers, sometimes known simply as Martellos, are small defensive coastal forts that were built across the British Empire during the 19th century, from the time of the French Revolutionary Wars onwards.
They stand up to 40 feet high and typically had a garrison of one officer and 15–25 men. Their round structure and thick walls of solid masonry made them resistant to cannon fire, while their height made them an ideal platform for a single heavy artillery piece, mounted on the flat roof and able to traverse over a complete 360° circle.
The Martello towers were used during the first half of the 19th century, but became obsolete with the introduction of powerful rifled artillery. Many have survived to the present day, often preserved as historic monuments - and sometimes transformed into sumptuous homes.
Found Tower was originally built to defend Napoleonic forces in the 1800s and, after a stylish renovation, now offers a unique self-catering retreat.
The owner says: 'Our exceptional Martello tower has been listed by English Heritage as a Scheduled Monument. It’s perhaps the finest survivor of over 100 Martello towers built around 1810 to fend off Napoleon's threat of invasion.'
An occasion house with a capital 'O', the tower comprises almost a million bricks wrapped around one huge central brick shaft, inviting guests to kick back over three floors of contemporary living spaces.
The first floor boasts a circular snug area laid with rugs and stacked with firewood.
From here, a spiral staircase sweeps up to the rooftop level, where floor-to-ceiling windows provide 360-degree views of the Suffolk coastline.
Heading downstairs from the first floor, the modern-rustic design flows towards the tower’s sleeping quarters, comprising two sharply modish bathrooms and three sumptuous double bedrooms.
The jewel in the crown has to be the incredible rooftop terrace, once home to a three cannon.
The owner says: 'The 360-degree views from the top floor are amazing at any point during the day; whether it be morning brightness, moving clouds, sun or moon shining through the round windows in the roof.'
If you can tear yourself away from living like Royals at the tower, the coast path running below is perfect for a picturesque morning jog. As for afternoons, hire a Big Sky classic car for the day and enjoy old-fashioned jaunts along winding Suffolk coastal roads in your vintage Morgan.
Situated in the small, rural hamlet of Bawdsey, Orford is 13 miles to the north while the riverside town of Woodbridge is a 20-minute drive - desirable holiday destinations for foodies and yachties respectively.
The property is available to rent from 5 July onwards via Unique Homestays.
See more pictures of the incredible property below:
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