The Malakoff Tower never formed part of the defensive wall of Lembeek. On the contrary, it was deliberately built as a ruin. Baron Paul Callahan, who made his fortune in the gin trade, was the promoter when he gained possession of the castle of Lembeek and its grounds, and started to renovate the castle and its gardens thoroughly.
The Tower has never experienced a single real siege, apart from being a stage for the battle of Malakoff which took place during a flamboyant garden party. The Tower owes its current name to this specific garden party. The siege of Malakoff was a notable battle from the Crimean War (1853-56). The battle of Malakoff (on the Crimean peninsula) was fought between the French and the Russian armies on 7 September 1855 as part of the siege of Sevastopol. The French eventually won.
The tower was built from local stone, sporting broken battlements and stone blocks at its base. The concrete spiral staircase is from a much more recent date. The grounds in which the tower stands was part of the castle park of Lembeek, located on the opposite bank of the Canal and the river Zenne. When the castle was sold to the Brothers of the Christian schools, they abandoned this park and allowed nature to take over again.