In 2014 Rubicon Heritage were commissioned by Cork County Council to undertake an audit of heritage assets owned by the County Council. The audit was intended to assess a wide variety of these properties by providing an overall background/description of the selected sites and identifying the main heritage characteristics and status/functionality of each. We have compiled a series of blogs based on the information gathered during the audit to highlight a number of the selected sites and the amazing archaeology in County Cork. Our next site is Camden Fort.
Fort Camden, or Fort Meagher as it has been known since its renaming following the return of the Treaty Ports in 1938, is located on Rams Head near Crosshaven in Co. Cork. It is one of the key defences of Cork Harbour along with Fort Carlisle/Davis and Fort Westmoreland/Mitchel. The area has seen fortification over an extended period, with a 1685 map showing a small blockhouse or battery nearby; a 1690 map depicts a bastioned fort that engaged with the Williamite navy during the War of the Two Kings. A significant remodelling began around 1798 with the advent of the Revolutionary and later the Napoleonic Wars.
In 1842 the fort consisted of a roughly rectangular area enclosed by a ditch on the landward side. The Fort was used as a convict prison between 1850 and 1855 before it was returned to full military use and was further remodelledby 1870 there were new gun emplacements and landward defences in place. It was at this time that major underground passages and emplacements were created which included a large magazine and which now accounts for a large proportion of the fort. World War I saw the fitting of further features when the harbour was of vital importance as a naval base.
The fortification is regarded as ‘one of the finest remaining examples of a classical coastal artillery fort in the world’ (CamdenFortMeagher.ie). It was acquired by Cork County Council in 1989 and since 2010 has been the focus of an initiative by the local community through the Crosshaven Community Assocation and Crosshaven Tourism, together with Cork County Council led to begin clearing and maintaining the site. These efforts have ultimately led to the formation of Rescue Camden and significant development of the site, largely led by volunteers. A number of buildings are now accessible as a result, and the site is a growing tourist attraction in the harbour area, hosting events such as military shows and picture exhibitions.
This section will not be visible in live published website. Below are your current settings: