Kinsale, County Cork, Ireland
Charles Fort is situated about 3km from Kinsale on a cliff overlooking Kinsale harbour. Across the harbour is James Fort.
Charles Fort is a star-shaped fort with five bastions. There are two bastions facing the sea: Devils bastion and Charles bastion, with gun embrasures inside and on top of the walls. The other three bastions known as North, Cockpit and Flagstaff face landward and each had a brick sentry box at the point.
There is an Exhibition Centre with multimedia displays, models and military artifacts. Guided tours of the fort are available, and there is a cafe on the site. Wheelchair access is restricted access due to the uneven terrain.
Charles Fort is built on the same site as an earlier castle, Ringcurran Castle, which was involved in the Siege of Kinsale in 1601. The present Charles Fort was built to protect Kinsale from the French and Spanish fleets in the 17th century. In war time, an underwater chain was stretched across the estuary from Charles Fort to James Fort, to hole enemy ships which ventured into the estuary. The fort was constructed in the 1670s through the 1680s and the name refers to King Charles II. In 1690, the Williamite forces attacked both Charles Fort and James Fort after the Battle of the Boyne. After the siege, the fort was repaired, and was used as a British Army barracks through until British rule ended in southern Ireland. The fort was burned and partially destroyed by the retreating anti-Treaty forces in 1922 during the Irish Civil War.
The fort was made a National Monument of Ireland in 1971, and since then has been partially restored by the Irish heritage service, Dúchas.
Other Castles in the Area
Ballea Castle, County Cork
Ballintotis Castle, County Cork
Blarney Castle, County Cork
Carrigadrohid Castle, County Cork
Carrignamuck Castle, County Cork
Desmond Castle, County Cork
Elizabeth Fort, County Cork
Kilcrea Castle, County Cork
Kilgobbin Castle, County Cork
Mountlong Castle, County Cork
Ringrone Castle, County Cork