In 1805 or so, Martello Tower 73 was built on Eastbourne’s coast to defend against possible invasion by Napoleon’s forces.
Eastbourne grew around the tower and it became one of the most recognizable landmarks in the town, frequently appearing in photographs, pictures and postcards.
It was very nearly lost in the 1950′s as redevelopment threatened to see it demolished, but instead it was saved and remained in near-original condition. Around the same time, a cafe and sun lounge were built to the side of the tower, called the Wish Tower Cafe.
Whilst it was never used in anger, the tower has been the site of a military museum and a puppet museum but closed to the public in the 1990′s.
The cafe and sun lounge were demolished in early 2012, by Eastbourne Borough Council who are the site owners, as the building was considered to be beyond economic restoration. The plan is to construct a new building which will house these facilities.
Some local, and not-so-local, folk are keen to ensure that the community has a voice in the future developments on the site – so the Wish Tower Friends were formed.
The Friends’ first meeting was held on 5th September 2012.
Have a look around the rest of the website to find out more about the Friends, the history of the site and how you can get involved.