Cottonera Lines

Posted on February 21, 2024 / 13
Listing Type : Defence Line
Location : Malta

The Cottonera Lines were built by the Knights of St John during the 17th and 18th Centuries.  These Lines included eight bastions and provided an outer defence line around the earlier San Margherita Lines.  The large bastions and interior of the walls were used extensively by the British for gun emplacements, quarters and support activists.  With the expansion of the Dockyard some of the Cottonera Lines in the East around St Paul Bastion, were destroyed or modified to join it to the Corradino Lines.

The principal features along the Corradino Lines are:

San Salvatore Bastion with Fort San Salvator built within in it by 1724.  Primarily used by the British as barracks. The mounting of a 64-pdr RML has not be confirmed.

St Louise Bastion which contained a burial ground during the British era and a fruit orchard.  The Bastion has a World War 2 pillbox built on it.

St James Bastion had a magazine in the centre.  The British later built a military hospital in the gorge of the Bastion.  A 64-MLR gun was mounted on the salient.

Notre Dame Bastion was part of the St Clements retrenchment defences built in the 1850s.  A redoubt was built in the centre of the Bastion.  There is a 64-pdr MLR emplacement on the Bastion salient.

St Clements Bastion was integrated into the St Clement’s Retrenchment and with Verdala Barracks to the rear, and protected the centre of the Cottonera Lines. A pillbox has been built over the 64-pdr MLR emplacement.

St Nicholas Bastion which was primarily used by the British for barracks. There is a 64-pdr MLR emplacement on the salient of the Bastion.

St John Bastion which was left largely undeveloped by the British. There was a single 63-pdr MLR gun mounted on the salient of the Bastion in 1877.

St Paul Bastion overlooks the expanded dockyard’  There is a 64-MLR and Quick Fire emplacements on the Bastion.

St Laurence Demi-Bastion which connected the Cottonera Lines near San Salvator to the Birgu Land Front.  This has been heavily modified and a Royal Engineer Office was built here in 1904.  Little now remains of this demi-bastion.

Between 1876 and 1876 five 64-pdr MLR guns were mounted on the bastions of the Floriana Land Front.  It is believed that at about the same time, similar 64-pdr MLR guns were mounted on the eight bastions of the Cottonera Lines.

The displayed plan of the Cottonera and Santa Margherita Lines is courtesy of By Xwejnusgozo – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0

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