Charles Fort, County Cork
Charles Fort is a star fort located on the water's edge, at the southern end of the village of Summer Cove, on Kinsale harbour, County Cork, Ireland. James' Fort is located on the other side of the harbour.
Charles Fort is built on the site of an earlier stronghold known as Ringcurran Castle, which featured prominently during the Siege of Kinsale in 1601. The fort, which is named after Charles II, was designed by the Surveyor-general Sir William Robinson - architect of the Royal Hospital Kilmainham. The fort was built in the 1670s and 1680s to a star fortification design - a layout specifically designed to resist attack by cannon.
The in-land bastions of the fort however are overlooked by higher ground. A fact which was of critical importance when the fort was besieged by John Churchill, First Duke of Marlborough (then First Earl) in 1690 during the Williamite War in Ireland. Repairs were made following the siege, and the fort remained in use as a British Army barracks for several hundred years afterwards.
An early lighthouse was established here in the 17th Century by Robert Reading. The fort was relinquished by British forces following the Anglo-Irish Treaty, but it fell out of use after being burned by the retreating anti-Treaty forces during the Irish Civil War in 1922. The complex was named a National Monument of Ireland in 1971 and has been partly restored by Dúchas, the Irish heritage service.
Add to Custom Tour
Create your very own Ireland tour with our Tailor Made Tours section. Once you've created an account and logged in, you can add your favourite attractions, accommodation and activities. And, when you're happy with your choices, just send them on to one of our Ireland experts and we'll design a custom itinerary and quote tailored just for you.
Best of Ireland Chauffeur-Drive Tour 11 Days
Best of Ireland with driver/guide.
Starting from $3,996 pps
Romantic Ireland Chauffeur Drive Tour 6 Days
Embrace the romance of Ireland in this privately guided tour.
Starting from $2,201 pps
Best of Ireland Self-Drive Tour 11 Days
The very best of Ireland in just under two weeks.
Starting from $1,169 pps
Ancient Ireland Chauffeur Drive Tour 11 Days
The essential Ancient Ireland Tour with your very own guide.
Starting from $4,157 pps
Journey Through the West Chauffeur Drive Tour 11 Days
Ireland's wonderful west.
Starting from $4,142 pps
Ancient Ireland Self-Drive Tour 11 Days
Jump back in time and walk in ancient footsteps.
Starting from $1,191 pps
Ancient Ireland Chauffeur Drive Tour 8 Days
A unique tour of ancient Ireland with a driver/guide.
Starting from $2,952 pps
Journey Through the West Self-Drive Tour 11 Days
Experience an unforgettable beauty.
Starting from $1,180 pps
Ancient Ireland Self-Drive Tour 8 Days
Uncover the secrets of Ireland's ancient past.
Starting from $1,051 pps