Due to frequent attacks on Freetown in the 19th century by the Temne under the leadership of King Tom, the government became nervy about future attacks on the colony. The governor of the day instructed that a Martello Tower be built on the top of Tower Hill as a defence mechanism. Similar structures were a defence mechanism of the period it has counterparts along the south coast of England.
This huge round tower complete with guns and armoury was finished in 1805 starting a long association with Tower Hill and the military. However, it is reported that it was never used in battle and in a couple of decades it was in ruins. A water tank was built inside the base and served as part of the earliest water system supplying pipe born water to the city around 1870. This tower is in need of refurbishment and is located next to the houses of parliament. A trip up the hill confirms why this would be a strategic position for the military with some of the most magnificent views of Freetown on offer.