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  1. ITV Report

One of the region's Martello Towers opens its doors to the public for the first time

Tower P in Felixstowe. Photo: ITV Anglia.

Tower P has stood on Felixstowe seafront for 200 years.

Like the other 28 towers built on our coastline they are a reminder of the threat Napoleon once had on this country.

Most of the remaining towers are either private homes or stand derelict but Tower P will be open to the public on certain days after a refurbishment programme, paid for by Suffolk Coastal Council, Historic England and Bloor Homes.

Tower Y, Shingle Street, Suffolk. Credit: ITV Anglia.

The Towers were built at great expense and none of them was ever used in anger.

"They cost a fortune, finished late and there's a query about whether they were really to keep Napoleon out or give a signal that we could keep Napoleon out.

They were finished towards the end of the war, some of them afterwards. A lot of them were immediately abandoned because basically they were too late."

– Bill Jenman, Touching the Tide

Over the years the towers have been used as customs houses, lifeboat stations, nuclear bunkers and homes of Coastwatch.

At 30 feet high and with walls that are 13 feet thick concrete they are virtually impregnable. If you want to imagine what life would have been like inside the towers, Touching the Tide have produced a virtual tour.

Click below to watch a report from ITV News Anglia's Kate Prout