Charles Fort,
County Cork

Charles Fort is the most outstanding example of a 17thcentury star-shaped fortification to survive in Ireland. It lies on the site of a medieval castle and 1601 it was occupied by a Spanish force and subsequently stormed by Mountjoy's troops.

The construction of the present fort began in 1677. It had five bastions; the first two faced the harbour and were the main strength of the fort, but the others were overlooked by the high ground, which proved to be the fort's great weakness. In 1690 it was besieged by the Williamite general, the Duke of Marlborough, who succeeded in making a breach in the wall by placing his cannon on the high ground.

From 1694 onwards the fort was largely rebuilt by the Huguenot military engineer Rudolph Corneille, following the original outline; a barracks for over 300 men was added in the 19th century. In 1922 the army handed over the fort to Irish "Irregulars", who burnt it down. In 1973 it was declared a National Monument and was subsequently renovated.

2.5 km (1.5 miles) SE of Kinsale. NGR: W 655494.