The Victoria Lines are a series of fortifications spanning across some 12 kilometres. They were built by the British armed forces between 1870 and 1899 and consist of four principal forts, a number of other gun batteries and a continuous infantry line that connects them together to form a single line of defence that follows the contour of the Great Fault and which cuts across Malta from coast to coast, from Kunċizzjoni/Fomm ir-Riħ Bay in the west to Madliena/Baħar iċ-Ċagħaq in the east.
The Victoria Lines have lain abandoned ever since their military significance faded more than 90 years ago. Nevertheless, they still provide a very interesting insight into the development of fortifications in the 19th century and, as such, form an intrinsic part of Malta’s historical heritage. They also offer some of the best vantage points from where to enjoy the beauty of Malta’s little remaining open countryside.
This book was first published in 1996 as part of an initiative led by the Mosta local council under the auspices of the MED-URBS Programme of the European Union, which also partially funded its production. The aim was to foster greater awareness of the Victoria Lines, to promote their conservation ad to highlight their tourism potential. The ultimate aim is to establish a national heritage trail to follow the original patrol path along the whole length of the Victoria Lines.
Since then, this objective has been officially endorsed by the authorities and is being actively supported by the Ministry of Resources and Infrastructure. In particular, through the Restoration Unit and the Parks and Landscape Conservation Section of the Works Division, effective initiatives have been launched towards the restoration of parts of the lines and the re-opening of significant lengths of the original patrol path.