Fort Saint Angelo

Posted on February 2, 2021 / 51
Listing Type : Coastal Fort
Location : Malta

Fort Saint Angelo is the oldest fortification in the harbour area and has been continually developed over the years.  The position of the Fort allowed it to command the entrance to the Grand Harbour with four tiers guns, with five or more guns on each level.  These tiers were numbered from No.1 Battery on shoreline to No.4 at the highest point.

By December 1872, the British had built a casemated battery on No. 2 Battery to mount three 9-inch RML guns behind armoured shields.  Many of the old smoothbore guns were retained in the Fort with the Batteries shown as mounting:

  • No.1 Battery had eleven guns
  • No.2 Battery had ten 8-inch guns until 1872 then three 9-inch RML and six other guns
  • No.3 Battery had had eight guns (one on north face) and six mortars
  • No.4 Battery had eight guns plus one large gun on the north face.

Many of the guns mounted in these batteries were smooth bore, although there were 80pdr RML guns and 64/32-pdr guns.  There are plans from 1878 that show that Number 2 Battery has been split into No. 2 Battery with the 9-inch RML casemated guns, and No.3 Battery adjacent.  As a result No. 3 and No.4 Batteries change to No.4 and No.5 Batteries.

Many of the area were used for the storage of ammunition, and there were six magazines holding nearly 10,000 barrels in total.

By 1901 the fort had been disarmed except for five saluting guns on the Cavalier.  On the 8th December 1906 the Fort Saint Angelo was handed over to the Royal Navy by the British Army.  The Royal Navy used the Fort as a barracks, and in 1912 was renamed H.M.S. Egmont.

During World War 2 Fort Saint Angelo had four Twin Lewis A.A. gun and three 40-mm Bofors guns.  The Fort was hit by sixty-nine bombs during the German and Italian air bombardment.

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