Elizabeth Fort

Elizabeth Fort lies in the center of the city of Cork, in County Cork in Ireland.

Elizabeth Fort was built in 1601 by Sir George Carew on a hill opposite and outside the medieval walls of Cork city. At this time it was built out of timber and earth. It was named after Queen Elizabeth I. In 1603 this fort was attacked and demolished by the citizens of Cork as a reaction of the accession of James I to the throne of England. However, after Lord Mountjoy had retaken Cork the citizens were forced to rebuilt the fort at their own expense.

Between 1624 and 1626 the old fort was replaced by a stronger star-shaped stone fort. Much of what we see today dates back to that building period. Under Cromwell, in 1649, the walls were heightened and defensive improvements were made.

In 1690, during the Williamite War in Ireland, Elizabeth Fort and the walled city of Cork were held by Jacobite forces while being attacked by Williamite soldiers. The fort held out, but was surrendered when the city wall was breached after 4 days of bombardment. In the following decades the fort ceased to be a defensive structure for the city and in 1719 was turned into a barracks.

In 1754 Morty Oge O'Sullivan Beare, 'Captain of the Wild Geese', was killed for murdering John Puxley. His severed head was put on a spike on the fort walls and his beheaded body was allegedly buried within the walls of the fort.

In 1817 Elizabeth Fort was turned into a prison. Until 1837 it mostly housed convicts who awaited their 'penal transportation' to Australia and other British colonies. In the late 19th century, the fort reverted to military use and became a station of the Cork City Artillery.

During the Irish War of Independence (1919-1921) the fort was used as a base for auxiliary forces brought in by Britain to fight against the Irish Republican Army. During the succeeding Irish Civil War the fort was burned by anti-treaty forces in 1922. The remaining interior structures of the fort date from a rebuild following this fire. In 1929 a new Garda (police) station was built inside the fort. It would remain a Garda station until 2013.

Elizabeth Fort is a bit hidden behind all the houses around it but still worth a visit. It is freely accessible although you can do a guided tour for a small fee. A nice discovery in a nice city.


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Elizabeth Fort

Elizabeth Fort lies in the center of the city of Cork, in County Cork in Ireland.

Elizabeth Fort was built in 1601 by Sir George Carew on a hill opposite and outside the medieval walls of Cork city. At this time it was built out of timber and earth. It was named after Queen Elizabeth I. In 1603 this fort was attacked and demolished by the citizens of Cork as a reaction of the accession of James I to the throne of England. However, after Lord Mountjoy had retaken Cork the citizens were forced to rebuilt the fort at their own expense.

Between 1624 and 1626 the old fort was replaced by a stronger star-shaped stone fort. Much of what we see today dates back to that building period. Under Cromwell, in 1649, the walls were heightened and defensive improvements were made.

In 1690, during the Williamite War in Ireland, Elizabeth Fort and the walled city of Cork were held by Jacobite forces while being attacked by Williamite soldiers. The fort held out, but was surrendered when the city wall was breached after 4 days of bombardment. In the following decades the fort ceased to be a defensive structure for the city and in 1719 was turned into a barracks.

In 1754 Morty Oge O'Sullivan Beare, 'Captain of the Wild Geese', was killed for murdering John Puxley. His severed head was put on a spike on the fort walls and his beheaded body was allegedly buried within the walls of the fort.

In 1817 Elizabeth Fort was turned into a prison. Until 1837 it mostly housed convicts who awaited their 'penal transportation' to Australia and other British colonies. In the late 19th century, the fort reverted to military use and became a station of the Cork City Artillery.

During the Irish War of Independence (1919-1921) the fort was used as a base for auxiliary forces brought in by Britain to fight against the Irish Republican Army. During the succeeding Irish Civil War the fort was burned by anti-treaty forces in 1922. The remaining interior structures of the fort date from a rebuild following this fire. In 1929 a new Garda (police) station was built inside the fort. It would remain a Garda station until 2013.

Elizabeth Fort is a bit hidden behind all the houses around it but still worth a visit. It is freely accessible although you can do a guided tour for a small fee. A nice discovery in a nice city.


Gallery