Posted by: travelrat | June 18, 2012

Charles Fort, Kinsale

Kinsale: September 19th, 2011

It was our last day in Kinsale. It was misty and drizzly, so we didn’t do much. I did make a visit to Charles Fort, which I’d already photographed from outside, in much better light.

But, I wanted to see the inside, too, and learn a little more about Irish history. That’s something we didn’t learn a lot of in school.

There are two forts which guarded the harbour at Kinsale, one on either side of the bay. They’re called Charles Fort and James Fort, named after the two Kings, Charles II and his successor, his brother James II.

However, James Fort was in existence long before the King was born, let alone reigned. It was occupied by the Spanish during the Battle of Kinsale in 1601, after which it was rebuilt and strengthened because of its strategic value.

It was named after King James when he landed in Kinsale in his abortive efforts to regain the throne, from which he had been deposed by his daughter Mary and her husband, William of Orange.

It declined in importance after the construction of Charles Fort, in 1678. It’s one of the best-preserved examples of a ‘Star Fort’, and was in use as a military installation and a barracks until 1922. Nowadays, it’s in the care of the Office of Public Works … and it’s worth a visit for the views, even if you’re not into history.

That is, if it’s not raining!


  1. Hi Keith,
    Even though the weather was not good, it is a great photo and you can see the beautiful view. I think it is wonderful how they managed to preserve the forts, and no doubt the entrance fee helps to keep it all going.

    Good for the kids as well to learn a bit of history, there is so much we are not taught at school, and places like these would get a few kids interested I am sure. 🙂

    • Any sort of military fortification almost guarantees a good view … although such a viewpoint was chosen for the timely spotting of the approach of the Ungodly, rather than admiring!

  2. I bet it is a gorgeous place in the sunlight. Love the history of it!

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