Fort Saint Leonardo

Posted on January 16, 2021 / 26
Listing Type : Coastal Fort
Location : Malta

Fort Saint Leonardo was suggested as a site for a coastal battery by Colonel Jervois in 1866.  By 1872 there were plans drawn up for a Fort Tombrell at this location.  By 1875 the name Fort Saint Leonardo (San Leonardo) was adopted.  The approved armament for the Fort at this time was:

  • Three 11-inch 25-ton guns, increased to four.  These four guns are now  displayed outside Fort St Elmo, having for a time stood at Fort Mosta.
  • Three 64-pdr guns on Moncrieff disappearing carriages
  • Four 40-pdr on counter wright carriages
  • Five 32-pdr SB breech loading guns for the counterscarp galleries
  • Two field guns and a light mortar to be place in the outworks (fleche)

Photographs show the four 11-inch RML guns mounted in the Fort, but it is believe that the 64-pdr and 40-pdr guns were never installed but the pits for the 64-pdr guns appear to have been prepared.  In 1897 two 9.2-inch BL Mark IX guns were mounted to the right of the four 11-inch guns.  In 1906 the two 9.2-inch guns were replaced by Mark X guns, and in 1911 new Mark Va mounts were installed.

Plans survive from about 1897 showing that there was a proposal to mount three 9.2-inch guns in the fort, one of the guns to the north of the existing fort, just outside the dry moat.  This wing battery is where a reservoir now stands.

Immediately in front of the Fort are remains of what would appear to be an observation post or position finding cell.

Below the fort two defence electric lights were installed, which can still be seen.  For more background information on Defence Electric Lights click here.

UK National Archives Records

  1. WO 78/5317 with images
  2. WO 192/181
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