Castles & Medieval Forts in Cork...

Blackrock Castle Observatory

Blackrock Castle Observatory is a 16th century castle located about 2km from the heart of Cork City on the banks of the river Lee.

The present-day castle is actually the third structure to stand on this site. In 1582 the townspeople of Cork built a watchtower here to guard the harbour from pirates and

Blackrock Castle Observatoryraiders. The tower was also used to guide ships in and out of the harbour.

In 1601 Lord-Deputy Mountjoy replaced the tower with a full castle. It was designed to mount artillery and featured walls that were over 2 metres thick. In 1608 James I gave the castle back to the City of Cork.
Today the castle is open to the public 7 days a week and it houses a range of attractions from the scientific to the historical and cultural. Included in the admission price is a guided tour of the castle with tours of the towers and dungeons and more on the colorful history of the castle.

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Charles Fort in Kinsale

Charles Fort in Kinsale is a classic example of a star-shaped fort and has five bastions, constructed in the late 17th century on the site of an earlier coastal fortification.

Charles Fort KinsalePerhaps the best-known historical attraction in Kinsale, Charles Fort, is on the road just beyond Summercove. It is open all year, and regular guided tours are available. Charles Fort is one of the finest surviving examples of a 17th Century star-shaped fort, and much of the construction begun in 1678 remains.

Today, this formidable structure provides a platform to enjoy the breath-taking views of Kinsale town and harbour. In excess of 75,000 visitors a year enter via the drawbridge and step back in time to explore this ‘terror from the sea’.

One of a network of forts built to defend Cork harbour in the 19th century. Explore the buildings and tunnels to discover exhibitions, artillery, living history displays with great views of the harbour.

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Camden Fort Meagher

Camden Fort Meagher is internationally recognized as being “One of the finest remaining examples of a classical Coastal Artillery Fort in the world”. For almost 400 years the fort played a key role as a strong strategic position for the defense of Ireland, the west coast of England and Wales. Camden Fort

The fort is a prime location to watch ships passing through Cork Harbour, the second largest natural harbour in the world. The fort is named after Irish nationalist Thomas Francis Meagher who designed Ireland’s national flag of green, white and orange in 1848.

Take a trip to this incredible fort and admire the bright tunnel, granite spiral staircase, and magazine and after, wander around the exhibition rooms including the World War I Memorial Room!

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Blarney Castle and gardens

Blarney Castle located a short distance from Cork city, is famous for kissing the Blarney Stone, and has beautiful gardens to relax in along with climbing up the spectacular castle.

For more information visit

Blarney Castle
Blarney Castle, Cork


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