St Thomas Tower

St Thomas Tower is a fortification on the island of Malta. It stands above the shore on the seaward face of the headland of Il-Hamriga. The tower was built by the Knights of Malta in 1614 during the reign of Grand Master Fra Alof de Wignacourt, and is one of the set of Wignacourt towers.

It is a substantial fortification intended to prevent the landing of troops in the sheltered anchorages of Marsascala Creek and St Thomas Bay. It was subsequently reinforced during the later tenure of the Knights of Malta by the addition of a battery on the seaward face.

It has recently been substantially repaired. The battery has also been repaired, though in a somewhat strange style. Modern masonry has replaced the eroded stones of the battery, but only the still existent masonry has been replaced, turning the logical and very pragmatic layout of the battery's fortifications into a strange and arbitrary piece of abstract modern art. Thankfully the tower itself has been faithfully restored and is now in fine condition.

The village of Marsaskala has expanded in recent years, entirely surrounding the tower with modern buildings. The tower now forms the centerpiece of an attractive plaza around the shoreward face of the tower. Unfortunately a large and modern hotel built on the headland seaward of the tower and battery is far less sympathetic to the tower environs, substantially screening the tower to seaward.

Image gallery
  • North and east faces of the tower

  • North face of the tower

  • The "restored" seaward battery

  • Wignacourt escutcheon over the gate

Coordinates: 35°51′40″N 14°34′22″E / 35.86111°N 14.57278°E / 35.86111; 14.57278