TORRE D´EN PENJAT (HANGMAN´S TOWER)

Torre de Defensa Torre den PenjatDuring the second British occupation of Menorca, the British governor, General Stuart, ordered the building of various Martello towers at strategic points around the harbour of Mahón. The Torre d´en Penjat, or Hangmans Tower, built in 1798, by Engineer Captain Robert D´Arcy, is just one of them. Situated to the south of the port of Mahón is a bay called San Estaban or Saint Stephen´s bay, which hugs the southern side of the castle of San Felipe, leaving the fortress vulnerable to attack. The hill, on which the tower was built, was used in the campaigns of 1756 and 1781, when batteries from besieging troops were mounted on Turks Hill or Hangmans Hill, successfully attacking the fortress of San Felipe. To prevent this happening again, and to protect the entrance to the bay of Cala San Estaban, the tower was built.

Initially the tower was called Stuart´s Tower, later changed to Hangman´s (Penjat) Tower, after the name of the hill where the convicts from San Felipe were executed.

The tower was built on three levels. The ground floor was used for storage. The first floor was the entrance and is where the troops were housed, and the top of the tower was for combat. On the territorial side of the tower there was a dry moat commanding a 180 degree view from north to south, and the other side of the tower was protected by different ground levels.