Land Front Ditch Battery and Caponier

The main land front ditch of Birgu was an important element of the city’s fortified enceinte. By the 18th century the ditch was controlled by various defensive features including two casemated batteries, an extensive caponier and various sally-ports. In modern times, the ditch area has largely served as a sort of public garden but its rundown state meant that it remained mostly under-utilzed. The ERDF 039 project has sought to exploit the ditch’s potential by creating an aesthetically pleasing and creative recreational environment. The restoration works were aimed at repairing the consumed masonry and rocky fabric of the enveloping counterscarp, as well as the repair and restoration of the casemated battery facing Kalkara Creek and other features originally forming part of the covertway (pas-de-souris, sally-ports etc). In the course of these works, a large eighteenth-century caponier of communication was unearthed inside central area of the ditch and these remains were incorporated into the new layout as an archaeological feature. The works also involved the clearance of a large mound of debris dumped into the ditch in the post-war period.