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The defences on Guernsey date back to the 12th century with Chateau des Marais (Ivy Castle) and were strengthened in the 13th and 14th centuries with Vale Castle and Castle Cornet. At the end of the 18th century a number of fortified towers were built and then a few years later over 60 stronger forts, Martello towers and gun batteries were added to protect potential landing sites. During World War 2 fortified bunkers and observation towers were built by the occupying German forces.
Fifteen Guernsey towers were built in 1788 - 1789 and the twelve that are still standing are listed below. They have a diameter of 20 feet and are 30 feet high with 2 floors plus a basement. There were originally only musket loopholes on the two floors to defend the tower but after 1803 a 12 pdr carronade was mounted on the top of the tower. Although built at the same time, the Jersey Towers are of a different design.
1. Houge à la Perre Tower, St. Sampson. Destroyed in 1905.
2. Houge à la Perre Tower (Belle Greve), St. Sampson. Destroyed in 1958.
3. Mont Crevelt Tower, St. Sampson. Stands inside the 19th century fort.
4. Tower No.4, Vale. Open to public, close to Fort Le Marchant.
5. L’Ancresse Tower No.5, L’Ancresse Common, Vale.
6. L’Ancresse Tower No.6, L’Ancresse Common, Vale. Located in the middle of a golf course.
7. L’Ancresse Tower No.7, L’Ancresse Common, Vale. Located in the middle of a golf course.
8. L’Ancresse Tower No.8, Vale. Destroyed in World War 2.
9. Bay de la Jaonneuse Tower, Vale. The tower now has a slight lean.
10. Chouet Tower, Vale. The Chouet and Rousse towers stand on the headlands that cover the entrance to Grand Havre Bay.
11. Rousse Tower and Battery, Vale. The tower and battery are combined into a single fortification which protected the western approaches to the Braye du Valle which once separated the Clos du Valle from the rest of Guernsey. The battery with three 24-pdr and two 9-pdr guns was added in 1804. The tower has three levels and is open to the public.
12. Vazon Tower and Battery, Vazon Bay, Castel. The battery would have mounted four 24-pounder guns in 1816.
13. Petit Bôt Tower, Forest. Built to protect Petit Bot beach, one of the few potential landing places on the south coast of the island. The tower was renovated in 2012 and is open to the public free of charge on a daily basis from March - October.
14. Saints Bay Tower, St Martin.
15. Fermain Tower and Battery, St Martin. Fermain North Battery and its magazine stand near the tower. National Trust of Guernsey.
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