Charles Fort

Located outside Kinsale town, this 17th century star shaped fort is well worth a visit.

Charles Fort was constructed in 1677 on the site of an earlier Norman fortification. Charles Fort is a classic example of a star-shaped fort and has five bastions. The two seaward bastions, the Devil’s and the Charles’ were for defending the harbour and both are casemated – that is, they have gun embrasures inside as well as on top of the walls.

The North, Flagstaff and the Cockpit, are the three landward bastions and all three had a brick sentry box at their outermost point, two of these still survive.
William Robinson, architect of the Royal Hospital in Kilmainham, Dublin, is credited with designing the Fort. Across the estuary is James Fort, an earlier structure, which was designed by Paul Ivy in 1602. In 1690 after the ‘Battle of the Boyne’ the Williamite forces arrived at Kinsale and attacked both forts. Guided tours available.