Nerja council have announced that they are going to ask the coasts department permission to carry out restoration works to the watch tower at Torrecilla beach, which is in an ever worsening state of repair. Nieves Atencia, councillor for beaches, has said that “it is not acceptable to keep the monument in the state it is.” and says that once approval is given to carry out the restoration, funding will be sought for the work.
The site of the ruined watchtower at the western end of Torrecilla beach is believed to date back to the 13th Century, when it would have been the location of one of the coastal watch towers constructed by the Nazaris when they ruled this part of Spain.
The ruins there now were constructed in the 18th Century as part of the defences against the Barbary pirates, raiders from North Africa who kidnapped europeans to sell them into slavery in North Africa and the Middle East.
The tower itself is a dry-stone wall, fortified tower, made from a combination of stone masonry and brick. It would have had a semicircular floor with a recessed retreat and a short conical section. Its original height would have been 11m with a maximum width of 15m.
During the Penisular War in the 19th Century, the tower was blown up by the English, at that time allies of the Spanish, in order to avoid it being used by the invading Napoleonic army.
There are other several watch towers along the coast, in different states of decay, which can be seen by driving along the coast road east towards La Herradura.