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Fortress Study Group
Visit to Martello Tower No.7

18 May 2013

Make no mistake, these guys are the big guns. The Fortress Study Group (FSG) is based in the UK, has Royal patronage and a membership of 600 worldwide. And when they do things, they do them properly. You only have to look at their website to see that.

Apart from their annual conference, they do one study tour of fortifications each year, sometimes within the UK and sometimes without. This year it was (Southern) Ireland.

The ambitious programme is one thing, but they also prepared a short, highly professional, background booklet on all the places to be visited, complete with colour and foldouts. Thorough is not the word.

The tour was led by Colonel W H (Bill) Clements, current chairman of the FSG. Bill has published extensively on Martello Towers: the latest edition of his book came out in July 2011. Niall had invited him to Tower No.7 and arranged access to a number of South Dublin Bay fortifications in July 2012. So now, in this year of The Gathering, Bill had led a group of 40 members of the Fortress Study Group on their visit to the Tower as part of their tour of (Southern) Ireland.

The Group have prepared an extensive report on the tour which can be downloaded here. The visit to No.7 is reported at the bottom of page 1.

I note from their 2012 report, when they visited Dutch defences, that they did not succeed in visiting Rijnauwen Fort, near Utrecht, because of the bats. So as a gesture of goodwill I draw their attention to my own thoroughly enjoyable tour of this fortification in June 2010.

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