Originally 103 towers were built between 1805 and
1812 to resist a potential invasion by Napoleon. They were built of brick, 13
foot thick on the seaward side, stood about 30 foot high and were equipped with
a cannon on the roof. 74 were built along the Kent and Sussex coastlines from
Folkstone to Seaford between 1805 and 1808, the other 29 to protect Essex and Suffolk.
45 of the towers
still remain, but many are in ruins or have been converted, so only 9 remain in
their original condition. Two supporting forts were built on the south coast at
Dymchurch and Eastbourne.
The tower at Dymchurch (No. 24) has been fully
restored and is now a museum.