Dating from 1677, Charles Fort is situated 3 km from the centre of Kinsale on a high clifftop overlooking the estuary of the River Bandon. It was built there to protect the entrance to Kinsale harbour from potential French and Spanish invaders. At times of war an underwater chain used to be drawn from it to James Fort right across the harbour mouth. Its purpose was to damage the bottom of any incoming enemy ship, thus causing it to sink.
This classic star-shaped fort would be a great place to visit for lovers of old fortifications. I am not one of them though, believing that they can always be used not in defence but against the local population, as was the case with many such strongholds in Poland.
Yet, I must admit that it is a great place for walks, commanding great views over the cove and the town itself. There is an interesting legend connected with the fort, which you can find on Katherine's (Ekaterinburg's) Kinsale page. It appears to have its own ghost!
Guided tours of the fort are available and there is a multimedia exhibition centre.
And, if you'd rather have a relaxing time, just sit in their cafe, breathe in the sea air and admire the scenery.
We always start our trip at Charles Fort. Walking round the fort and visiting the Exhibition Centre give visitors a good chance to familiarise themselves with the history of the town and a chance to
view it from this vantage point at the mouth of the harbour. Charles fort is a Star Shaped Fort built around 1677, with 5 bastions. Two of the Bastions guard the entrance to the harbour and three of them defend the landward approaches. The fort is huge with troops quarters, parade grounds, hospital, stores, stables and everything else necessary for large batallions of soldiers. Walking around it, scrambling up and down, sitting on the battlements and gazing out to sea are all easy and enjoyable ways to get a feel for the place. For serious history buffs, there are guided tours by onsite experts, information booklets and the audiovisual presentations at the central exhibition Hall. In summer there is a great cafe with reasonably priced hot drinks and homemade scones, apple tart and chocolate cake.
Open daily From 10.00am to 6.00pm from mid March to mid-October and from 10.00am to 5.00pm from November to mid-March. Entrance is about 4 EURO and the guided tours are free.
Here is a good view of Charles Fort from the harbour tour. You can easily walk there from the city center. There is a nice path and only a couple little hills and once you get there you have a wonderful view of the outer harbor, Old Head and Kinsale as well. The fort is in immaculate condition for its age and the grounds are very well kept. You are free to explore the fort and check out all the nice photo opportunities, view, etc. The grass is nice and soft for a nap too!!! The admission is just a couple of euro and there are informative tours continuing during day. There are a couple of interactive information kiosks about the fort's design that are interesting also. It is a very pretty place that is well worth the walk or drive out to.
This is certainly a worthwhile trip. Quite inexpensive (EUR 2) and highly informative, it's a 45 minute walk from Kinsale. The views from the fort walls are excellent. Open Saturday-Monday 9AM-5PM off-season, Daily 9AM-6PM in Summer.
Hungry or thirsty? There's a pub a few hundred meters down the hill (The Bullman Bar -- we didn't try it, but it looked good).
Even though it was raining I enjoyed my visit to the fort and the walk to it from the centre of Kinsale. It is run by the OPW and it is 3 Euro 70 to enter. The best thing about our visit was the free tour given by a well informed and friendly guide. I think tours are run regularly, our tour set off at 11am.
Charles Fort at Summer Cove was built in the late 17th century after the defeat of the Spanish and Irish at the Battle of Kinsale. One of Europe's most complete star-shaped forts covering some 12 acres.
We started off at Charles Fort (star shaped fort on the point built in 1670). It turns out that the fort was well designed for an attack by water but not by land. Apparently, it was in use until 1922. Very interesting, we walked all over the walls.
Very well preserved fort from the 17th Century. The fort overlooks Kinsale Harbour and was designed to provide cross-fire with it's twin, James Fort, across the water.
The fort was besieged by the forces of William of Orange when James II attempted to regain the British throne, and fell after 13 days.
The fort was in continuous use by the military until the British withdrew in 1922 and most of the buildings were destroyed or damaged during the ensuing Irish Civil War. However, the massive walls are still intact.
Great fort showing the military architecture and design of the era. Built in the late 1600s.
Take the tour if available, the guide we had was wonderful and informative.