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Preserving History: Restoring the Échauguette at Saint Peter and Paul Counter-guard

Fondazzjoni Wirt Artna - the Malta Heritage Trust has today started installing new timber apertures at the 17th century Échauguette (gardjola) at the Saint Peter and Paul Counter-guard in Valletta. This counter guard was built after 1630 and forms part of the outer line of defence of the Valletta land front. From the Second World War until the early 1970s it formed part of the British War Headquarters at Lascaris. Throughout that period it served as a radio communication platform provided with numerous aerials. It also housed the War HQ Map Room (map store), the radio signallers accommodation and an interesting Mine Watching post from which a round the clock watch was kept for falling aerial mines. The counterguard sits above the sprawling St. Peter Galleries started mid-war as a replacement for the underground Combined War HQ at Lascaris but never completed. As a building it has many important military architectural features which are all set to be restored: artillery steps, drawbridge, portcullis gate, palisade gaps, artillery shot girdle, musketry steps, artillery reclining platforms and above a cavernous gun powder magazine first built in the 18th century but later reformed in the 19th century. The Échauguette which is to be repointed remains intact as built by the Hospitaller knights. This work is being sponsored by the Bank of Valletta.


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