For nearly 400 years Camden Fort Meagher, one of the world’s finest remaining classical coastal artillery forts, played its part in protecting Cork Harbour, Ireland and the west coast of England and Wales.
Walls speak tales. Panoramic views across the harbour reveal further links in the defensive chain.
Cork City’s motto translates as “A safe harbour for all ships” and it was the safe harbour, vast and strategically located, that made the city. Thriving maritime trade was a treasure to be zealously defended, while in times of conflict the harbour became a vital base for British and Irish navies, even the US Navy during World War One. The Irish Naval Service is headquartered at Haulbowline Island in Cork Harbour to this day.
While in Cork City star-shaped Elizabeth Fort, though much rebuilt, reminds of Tudor determination to stand firm against Spain and piracy.
In this way, the story of each of Cork’s forts has constantly evolved … and that’s the message blowing in the wind as you head on a ferry across the harbour to Spike Island: home to a monastery, fortress, prison and naval garrison through the centuries.