overlooking both Armier and Ahrax bays. It was one of the
thirteen towers built by Grand master Martino de Redin.
In latter years a number of alteration were made on it.
L-Ahrax Tower was one of those thirteen coastal towers built
around Malta by Grand Master De Redin in the mid 17th century.
This tower was the sixth one built in this system of coastal towers.
The intention was to sound alarm in case of sighting an enemy
fleet or an enemy force disembarking troops in a particular bay/s.
This was the third tower to be built in Mellieha village after
the building of Ghajn Tuffieha Tower in 1637 and the Red Tower
or Fort St. Agatha in 1648.
the battery wall. The wall was surrounded by a ditch.
Tower was erected in 1658 and the total cost was 589 scudi, 5 tari
and 15 gramm, which was quite a large sum for that period. It has
a square shape and consists of two rooms on each other and a little
one on the roof. In the past years a number of alterations were
made on it. It was used as a place to store a number of muskets
for the Naxxar country militia which had the responsibility for
defending the northern most part of Malta.2 The militia was paid
by the Universita of Imdina. L-Ahrax Tower was manned, like the
other de Redin towers, by four men, who were paid 8 scudi and six
tari a month.3 In the early 18th century, in 1715-16, Knight Commander
Mongontier donated some 1323 scudi excluding the 5126.96.36.199 scudi
needed for the construction of a coastal battery. When the tower
was finished an inscription was fixed above the door saying:
FR.D.MARTINVS DE REDIN MAGNO S.R.H. MAGISTRO
SEXTAM SPEULAM. PRO GARINARVM. AC INCOLARVM TUTIORI
STATIONE, ERIGENTI, MELITEN S. POPVLVS PRINCIPI SVO CLEMENT
PRO. VT IN CORDE. SIC IN L…RIDE GRATES
DEBITAS REDDEBAT AN. 1658.
1 Vincent Zammit. “Fortifikazzjonijiet fit-Tramuntana ta’
Malta matul il-perjodu ta’ l-Ordni ta’ San Gwann”,
J. Catania, E.A. Muscat, J. Cauchi & C. Attard (eds), Parrocca-
Maria Bambina Mellieha 1987, Printwell ltd, Malta, p 31
2 Stephen Spiteri. Fortresses of the Cross: Hospitaller Military
Architecture (1136-1798), A Heritage Interpretation Services Publication,
Malta, 1994, p 496
3 Zammit, op cit
Researched and Written by:
Charles Debono B.A.(Hons) History