The Martello tower at Magilligan Point was one of more than 70 built during the Napoleonic era to defend Ireland from a French invasion. A similar tower was built across the Lough at Greencastle.
Three floors high and cylindrical in shape, the Magilligan tower is reminiscent of an old Irish round tower and was designed with both attack and defence in mind. Its walls are around three metres thick and designed to withstand an enemy siege. Its roof held a powerful, swivel-mounted, 24-pound artillery piece which could be fired in any direction.
The tower lies 16 kilometres north of Limavady, in Magilligan Point Nature Reserve. The reserve is home to a variety of bee, butterfly and moth species, including the Scarce Crimson and Gold moth which is unique to the area. The surrounding dunes support established populations of plants, grasses, mosses and lichens which provide a rich source of nectar for native insects.
The tower is a short walk away from the terminal of the Lough Foyle Ferry which connects Magilligan and Greencastle where another Martello tower is located. Parking is available nearby.