FORT LEONARDO also known as Fort San Leonardo or Fort San Anard, is a polygonal fort (no bastions) in Żabbar, Malta. It was built between 1872 and 1878 by the British between the villages of San Leonardo and Żonqor above the shore east of Grand Harbour as part of a program of improvements to Malta’s fortifications. The fort was to be called Fort Tombrell but the name was changed to Fort Leonardo when construction began.
Aerial Images taken back to 21st December, 2008.
Its layout is complicated, with a smaller inner fort forming one corner within the larger part of the fort that contains the gun emplacements. The fort was initially armed with 11 inch rifled muzzle-loading guns, which were later superseded by 9.2 inch breech loading guns. In 1882, Żonqor Battery was built about a kilometre away from Fort Leonardo. The battery was manned by the gun crew and garrison stationed in Fort Leonardo.
Aerial Images taken back to September/October, 2010.
Fort Leonardo was used for coastal defence in World War II. On 17th May 1942, the fort helped repel an Italian E-boat attack and remained in use by the British military until the 1970s.
Fort Leonardo was rented to a cattle farmer in 1973 and is still used as a farm. During year 2011, a 60 metre high communications tower of the telecommunications company GO was approved to be built on the glacis of the fort – https://www.maltatoday.com.mt/news/national/12666/60-metre-communications-tower-set-to-rise-from-historic-fort-st-leonard#.XqBusMgzbcc
In 2014, it was proposed that the fort would be turned into a boutique hotel. Din l-Art Ħelwa said that the fort should be restored, but its military context should not be lost as was done with Cambridge Battery on Tigné Point.
In 2015, the government made a proposal to include Fort Leonardo in the campus of the American University of Malta, which opened in 2017, on the condition that the fort is rehabilitated and opened to the public – https://timesofmalta.com/articles/view/update-3-fort-san-leonardo-may-be-incorporated-in-new-university.566883
This proposal was not implemented and In May 2015 Opposition MP Jason Azzopardi proposed that that site be opened for the public – https://timesofmalta.com/articles/view/End-of-the-line-for-land-squatters-.566609
Aerial Image of the Fort back to October 2019.
Photos by Capt. Lawrence Dalli. Do not use these images without my permission. © All rights reserved. Malta Ship Photos & Action Photos – www.maltashipphotos.com
Published – Wednesday 22nd April 2020