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Fortifications - Wied Musa Battery (Marfa)

Wied Musa Battery was one of those fortifications built in the early 18th century. The building of coastal batteries was a new concept of fortifications which was initiated by the French in France and their colonial possessions. Although the concept was the same only a handful of coastal batteries similar to those of the French were built. The majority of those built in Malta had a semi-circular platform, two blockhouses and a redan.

Wied Musa battery as it appears today. Unfortunately, in the 19 th century it was extended and therefore only from the gun platform could be recognised as it was a battery.

Wied Musa battery was not an exception. It was a large battery compared to others built in the Mellieha area. Commander Mongontier donated one third of the sum needed for the construction of Wied Musa battery; i.e 250 scudi out of the 938 scudi. The work on it began in 1714 and was finished two years later. The battery consisted of a large semi-circular gun platform, surrounded by a parapet, where there were a number of embrasures for the artillery. At the rear of the battery there is a large blockhouse fitted, although it is not certain if it had a redan, where there were a number of musketry loopholes for the soldiers stationed in it to defend the rear approaches to the battery. In 1785 the battery was armed with four 8-pdrs, but its gunpowder was stored in the Red Tower.1

In the 19th century the battery was extended and another floor was built to be used by the governor as a summer residence.

1 Stephen Spiteri. Fortresses of the Cross: Hospitaller Military Architecture (1136-1798), A Heritage Interpretation Services Publication, Malta, 1994, p 513.


Researched and Written by: Charles Debono B.A.(Hons) History


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