of Ghajn Hadid tower and the blockhouse.
Ghajn Hadid Tower was the first tower to be built in the series
of towers erected by Grand Master Martino de Redin. His idea of
building a chain of coastal towers goes back to the period when
he was President of the Sicilian kingdom in mid 17th century.
In fact he was in Sicily when he received the news that he was
elected Grand Master of the Order of St. John. It was the large
building scheme of coastal defensive structures in Sicily in the
late 16th century and the first six decades of the 17th century
that influenced him to build a chain of coastal towers in Malta
cannon which in Ghajn Hadid Tower. Behind it there is the
inscription which was fixed on the tower.
This tower was the third one to be built in Mellieha, but the
first one to be built by Grand Master de Redin. The total cost
of Ghajn Hadid Tower was 529 scudi, 2 tari u 8 uqija. It was built
in 1658 and was manned by a captain and three men paid by the
Universita of Imdina. The captain was paid 2½ scudi a month
while the men were paid 2 scudi.1 Its design was similar to that
of Wied iz-Zurrieq Tower. Internally the tower had two rooms one
built on top of the other. In front of the tower, a few metres
away, there is a blockhouse. The blockhouse had a number of musketry
loopholes to cover the area between itself and the tower.
In the vicinity of the tower there were a number of fields enclosed
by rubble walls which were used by the garrison to plant vegetables
and for breeding livestock for their livelihood.2 Unfortunately,
the upper room of the tower was destroyed by an earthquake in
1856. Till 1856, a 6-pdr cannon was still mounted on the roof.
The cannon together with the Latin inscription, that was a few
centimeters above the door are nowadays found at Tas-Salib Garden,
Mellieha. The inscription says:
FR.D.MARTINVS DE REDIN MAGNO S.R.H. MAGISTRO
SEXTAM SPEULAM. PRO GARINARVM. AC INCOLARVM TUTIORI
STATIONE, ERIGENTI, MELITEN S. POPVLVS PRINCIPI SVO CLEMENT
PRO. VT IN CORDE. SIC IN L…RIDE GRATES
DEBITAS REDDEBAT AN. 1658.