The Martello Tower near the old bridge in Banagher is a fine example of a 17th century Napoleonic fortification. The British authorities in Ireland feared a western invasion of Napoleonic forces through Ireland and as a result between 1804 and 1815 they built approximately 50 Martello Towers. The majority were built around the coast and so the Martello Tower at Banagher is one of only a few towers built inland. The invasion was expected from the Galway direction as the French would most likely march eastward crossing the Shannon at Banagher or Shannonbridge on their way across the country. Banagher’s position on the Shannon meant that it had long been a strategic military point and it served as an important garrison town during the 17th and 18th centuries. The expected invasion never came and the tower still stands on private property on the Galway side of the river.