No announcement yet.

Coastal Forts in Cork

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Coastal Forts in Cork

    Bit of an anorak subject, but can anybody tell me what’s left of the British fortifications in Cork harbour? A few of my mates were in Ft Davis last year and they said there was a lot of hardware remaining. Is this true? Was there ever a book or website published on this subject?


  • #2
    Not Much info out there!!

    But should answer some.

    I was there last weekend I wouldn't say Hardware more like Permanent Fixture's the Brits didn't take back in 1939. There's One Cannon left up by Dracula's Castle Thats about it!

    Last edited by Bailer; 15 April 2003, 19:52.
    Friends Come and Go, but Enemies accumulate!!


    • #3
      Not quite so anorack, I am interested in the subject myself. Anyone have any decent photos?


      • #4
        From memory,there is a lot more left of the treaty Ports than that seen by Bailer and Tim last weekend. The best preserved example,ironically is found on Fort Westmoreland(Fort Mitchell Spike Island) which has been maintained by the staff and....occupants,in better condition than when it was in use by the NS and Army back in the early 80s. It is quite easy to view this fort ...all you do is nock off a honda civic in Gràn like..:-patriot:
        Most of its coastal defence artillery is still in place and in working order.
        Fort Carlisle(Fort Davis) is best known,as it is still owned and operated by the Defence forces,as a training establishment. Its buildings and layout has changed little since it was built way back when,before aeroplanes were invented. Thats why the Brits decided to give them back to us..No defence from air attack.
        There used to be 2 9.2" guns in place,opposite what is now the square.These were last fired in 1946,and scrapped shortly after,as their accuracy was negligable to say the least. The barrel of one ended up as a gatepost in some farmyard.
        The remaining battery,in Ruperts tower,up to recently had 2 fully equipped 6" guns,but one of these was donated to a similar fort in Carlingford Lough I think...twas an Ulster Unionist who collected it in any case..The remaining gun,is still capable of being fired,after some preparation..:confused: There is also a Saluting battery of 3 12 Pounder guns(similar to those in Dun Laoighre),which were originally mounted on the MTBs as far as I know
        Other elements in the Cork harbour defences,included in the "treaty Ports" are Fort Camden(OPW, work done here since the opw took it from the DF back in the late 80s),
        Templebreedy(Near Crosshaven),in use by An Slua Muiri up to relatively recently,now a pitch and putt course,albeit with barracks still standing around the holes..quite surreal..
        Belmont(home of the 4AD),
        Haulbowline(Martello tower the best preserved example of its type in the british Isles)The Navy own and use whats worth having
        Rocky Island,Nothing much to se here,the halfway mark for anyone who has done their fitness test for the NS. Formerly used as a Magazine for the nearby posts,prior to the construction of the bridge..Worth pointing out at this stage that the Bridge to Haulbowline is relatively new,and the island,while previously not connected to the mainland,had a causeway to Spike Island,some of which is still visible.
        Comdt Dan Harvey,Southern Brigade,is probably the best source of info on this topic.The Museum in Collins Barracks,Cork also has much detail on the harbour fortifications,as does this site...
        Palmerston Forts society

        Catch-22 says they have a right to do anything we can't stop them from doing.


        • #5
          Photos of Bere Island Fortifications

          Found some decent enough ones on the web. Focused more on aesthetic than informative values though.

          BTW how do you post photos onto posts?


          • #6
            Have a look at:


            This site belongs to the Palmerston Forts Society. They have very comprehensive information on all the old British fortifications around Cork harbour (along with most other major fortifications in Britain and Ireland). It makes for fascinating reading ...

            They even have a map of the harbour showing the location of each fortification:


            I was very impressed with the scale of the engineering in Fort Davis last weekend - you have to hand it to the British Army. However, if you want to visit an even more impressive fort - then Charles Fort and the older James Fort in Kinsale are well worth visiting.


            • #7
              would anyone from cork be into goin into any of these places underground???my da was in the costal defence arty years back and he montioned about the huge generator rooms underground in fort davis........anyone up for it??
              Pussyand by one, die by the other, and love the smell of both in the morning!!


              • #8

                Didn't know you where there!!!

                Yes the Engineering of Fort Davis is astounding. refurbishments to the Fort Cost £78,000 sterling in the 1840's which was a huge amount Back then. It is an Impressive and historical building. Cork County Council or the OPW own the Fort opposite (was Camden but not sure of its Name now) I would love to see a fully restored fort. But I doubt it is Financially feasable. Fort Davis is Crumbling and Probably would be a lot worse if the camp staff didn't keep back the over growth. or indeed if nutcases from the 7bn didn't attack it with sledge hammers :D

                Friends Come and Go, but Enemies accumulate!!


                • #9
                  Goldie...12pdrs on MTBs you have got to be joking the recoil would go straight out throught the keel.

                  I think you'll find that the !2pdrs were mounted on the MUIRCHU the FORT RANNOCH and the SHARK.

                  there is/ was a 12 pdr mounted on the square in Haulbowline and this came from one of the Forts .So I don't think the saluting weapons came from the Ships .....morelikely the ships weapons came from the FORTS

                  There used to be a picture in the old Gunnery bay showing the weapons in use in the Forts.

                  Incidently the last Naval garrisson left spike in 1984 when it was in use as the NS training depot under the comannd of CDR Eoin McNamara.

                  Interesting to note that the Rocky island is the half way point on the fitness run....back in my time it was the point at which if you were going to collapse or puke it was the point of no return.The run was to Shanbally and back every morning and most afternoons.....110 guys in the dark singing swearing and loving every minute of it(Idon't think)

                  The fact that the navy ran at all came as a major shock as we could see no purpose in it as we thought we were going to live on ships for the rest of our days.
                  Covid 19 is not over's still very real..Hand Hygiene, Social Distancing and Masks.. keep safe


                  • #10
                    so anybody up for a bit of exploration?????
                    Pussyand by one, die by the other, and love the smell of both in the morning!!


                    • #11
                      The best preserved example,ironically is found on Fort Westmoreland(Fort Mitchell Spike Island) which has been maintained by the staff and....occupants,in better condition than when it was in use by the NS and Army back in the early 80s.

                      Actually when it was handed over to the Department of Justice they decided that the facilities that had been good enough for the military were below standard for the fine upstanding citizens that were to be housed there so they refurbished the whole lot to the tune of about 10 zillion pounds. Once the prisoners were safely ensconsed in the place they promptly rioted and burnt half the place to the ground.

                      Anybody planning on exploring the tunnels be very careful as they are dangerous and extensive. Camden is a museum isn't it or at least it is supposed to be. The gun which was sent north presumably went to Fort Dunree which is a museum. There are also two forts in Kinsale. Charles Fort and James Fort. Charles Fort is open to visitors.

                      My last camp as an FCA man was in 1985 in Davis and I should have a few pics around somewhere. I'll try and get them out.
                      Say NO to violence against Women

                      Originally posted by hedgehog
                      My favourite moment was when the
                      Originally posted by hedgehog
                      red headed old dear got a smack on her ginger head


                      • #12
                        I don't think a Camping trip to Fort Davis would be the wisest or Safest thing to do Remember it's a Dept of Defence Property and is Covered by the Same Rules and regulations as all other Defence establishments (see section 268 of the 1954 Defence Act) of Course there is nothing to stop you arranging to go down there for a day to do a "Recce"

                        Interesting that the British reviewed the Air Defence capapbilities before WWII. being in the Place it seems that it is possible to Navigate the Complex completely underground. and Even Bunker Busters Wouldn't do much damage to what's there. now.

                        Last edited by Bailer; 16 April 2003, 17:23.
                        Friends Come and Go, but Enemies accumulate!!


                        • #13
                          nice one sure the aul fella knows where the ventillation shaft enterence is.according to him all the entrences to it were bricked up in the 70s
                          Pussyand by one, die by the other, and love the smell of both in the morning!!


                          • #14
                            I believe it was Ken MgGuinness that got the gun from Ft. Davis.
                            "The dolphins were monkeys that didn't like the land, walked back to the water, went back from the sand."


                            • #15

                              Unsuitable for publication...
                              Pussyand by one, die by the other, and love the smell of both in the morning!!