On the 26th of December 2023, the Superintendence of Cultural Heritage added 48 new properties to the National Inventory of the Cultural Property of the Maltese Islands, in terms of Article 7(5)(a) and Article 53 of the Cultural Heritage Act (Cap. 445). We gladly announce that three of these sites are located in Kalkara, following also a specific request that Assoċjazzjoni Wirt il-Kalkara had made in recent years.
In line with Article 59(1) and Article 70, no person shall make any development or intervention to any of these properties without having first obtained a permit from the Superintendent, and no person shall cause damages to any of the properties listed, even if such property is owned by the person, and doing so will constitute an offence punishable by law.
You can access the virtual map of the national inventory by clicking here.
Fort Saint Rocco
Inventory Number: 2506
Construction of Fort Saint Rocco started in 1872 or 1873 by the British Empire as part of a fortification improvement programme recommended in a report published by Colonel Jervois in 1866. It was built on the land which served as the battery of Saint Rocco during the French blockade, situated between the battery of Rinella and the hamlet of Saint Rocco in Kalkara. This structure was the first polygonal fort of its kind to be built by the British in Malta.
In 1888 minor alterations were completed, while in 1900 a larger fort was built in its place. It was used successfully during the Second World War, destroying an Italian E-boat in 1942. It remained in operation as a militarily establishment until the 1950s, and was later used by Mediterranean Film Studios.
Inventory Number: 2525
Fort Rinella in Kalkara and Fort Cambridge in Sliema were built by the British in 1886 to guard the naval base and dockyard in Malta. This was done in reponse to the arming of two Italian warships Duilio and Dandalo which were equipped with 100-ton cannons built by Sir George William Armstrong. The Armstrong cannon weighs 102 tons, has a calibre of 17.72 inches and is rifled.
Loading was done from the front with a one-ton explosive shell and a 450-pound cartridge every 6 minutes using a steam-powered hydraulic system. It could penetrate 21 inches of cast iron from a distance of 3 miles. In 1882 the first gun arrived at the dockyard from whence it was landed at Rinella Bay and transported by 100 soldiers using a combination of rollers, block and tackle and capstan. The fortress was completed in 1886 and remained in use until 1906.
San Pietro Anti-Aircraft Battery
Inventory Number: 2536
St Peter´s battery is British Anti-aircraft Artillery Battery built and used for the defence of Malta in World War II. The battery was armed with four QF 4.5 inch Guns set in semi-circular formation. Each Gun emplacement included 3 concrete ammunition bins and an underground crew accommodation or shelter. Some guns were fitted with a mild steel shield and were placed near the coast to be used in a dual anti-aircraft / coastal defence role.
The Battery includes two hardened concrete bunkers which where probably used as munitions magazines and a central bunker which was the Battery´s main fire control station. There is also an old two story farmhouse which was converted into a blockhouse for perimeter defence as it contains a number of firing ports and probably also served as an observation post. A Hut at the far end of the Battery´s perimeter served as the mess hall and chapel. St Peter´s Battery saw significant action during the Axis Air Raids on Malta in World War II suffering significant damage including direct hits which resulted in a number of casualties and fatalities for the RMA (Royal Malta Artillery) personnel assigned there. Evidence of the fighting can still be seen today as all the structures in the battery are pockmarked with shrapnel and cannon fire.