Charles Fort

Kinsale, County Cork, Ireland

Charles Fort is located at Summer Cove and dates from 1677. The fort, a star fort, is a bastion-fort that guards the entrance to Kinsale Harbour. The fort was built to protect the area and the harbor from use by the French and Spanish in the event of a landing in Ireland.

The fort was built on the site of an earlier stronghold known as Ringcurran Castle (the Siege of Kinsale in 1601). The fort is named after Charles II. The fort was designed by the Surveyor General Sir William Robinson and architect of the Royal Hospital Kilmainham. The fort was built in the 1670’s and 1680’s. The star fortification design was a layout specifically designed to resist attack by cannon. From 1690 to 1890 the fort remained in use as a British Army barracks. The fort was relinquished by British forces following the Anglo-Irish Treaty of 1921. The fort fell out of use after being burned by the retreating anti-treaty forces during the Irish Civil War in 1922. The fort was named a National Monument of Ireland in 1971 and has been partly restored by the Irish heritage services.

The lighthouse was established in the 17th century by Robert Reading.


The entrance with the water straight ahead.


The star fort formation (taken from a photo in the visitor area).


You can see the building in the back has been restored.


The Lighthouse. You can see the tip of a sail boat behind the lighthouse.


(Photos by RSheridan)


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