Charles Fort is located on the hillside entrance of the harbour overlooking the picturesque town of Kinsale. It is a classic example of a late 17th century star-shaped fort and one of the largest military installations in the country.  It is named after King Charles II of England and was designed by Sir William Robinson (architect of the Royal Hospital in Kilmainham) to specifically resist attack by cannon! On the opposite bank are the impressive ruins of James Fort which was built in 1602 and named after King James I. Both forts have been associated with some of the most momentous events in Irish history and saw action when both forts were attacked by the Williamite forces after the Battle of the Boyne and also during the Irish Civil War of 1922-23. Charles Fort was used by the British as a garrison right up to 1922. It was declared a National Monument in 1973 and is now under state care and is now open to the public for a small fee.(R)

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