Heritage Ireland

Charles Fort

A star-shaped military fortress that has stood firm for centuries

See all opening times

Charles Fort

A star-shaped military fortress that has stood firm for centuries

See all opening times

Limited Access

Open 11:00 - 16:30, Last Admission 16:00.
Exterior only open
Exhibition Centres closed.
One way system in operation.
Free admission
The Tea Rooms and Toilets are currently closed


Admission is free until 2021.

Adult: €5.00
Group/Senior: €4.00
Child/Student: €3.00
Family: €13.00

Getting here

Summer Cove
Co. Cork
P17 AY18

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Charles Fort

As one of the country’s largest military installations, Charles Fort has been part of some of the most momentous events of Irish history. During the Williamite Wars, for example, it withstood a 13-day siege before it fell. Later, in the Civil War of the early 1920s, anti-Treaty forces on the retreat burned it out.

Charles Fort is a massive star-shaped structure of the late seventeenth century, well preserved despite its history. William Robinson, architect of the Royal Hospital in Kilmainham, Dublin, is credited with designing it. Its dimensions are awe-inspiring – some of the outer defences are 16 metres high.

The view from the ramparts looking out over Kinsale Harbour is spectacular.

Opening Times

Open all year

Last admission: 1 hour before closing

Average Length of Visit: 1 Hour

Seasonal Opening Times

Mid March - October

10:00 – 18:00

November – Mid March

Daily 10:00 – 17:00


Summer Cove
Co. Cork
P17 AY18

021 477 2263

Getting Here

3km from Kinsale – turn off Cork-Kinsale road (R600) 2km from the town.

Click the relevant icon below to open Maps directions


  • Baby Changing
  • Brochure
  • Cafe
  • Car park
  • Coach parking
  • Exhibition
  • Guided tours
  • Interpretive exhibit
  • Toilets
  • Wedding Venue
  • Wheelchair Accessible


  • Assistance dogs only
  • Children must be accompanied by an adult at all times
  • Hold hand rail
  • No Drones
  • Slippery Surfaces
  • Stay back from edge
  • Uneven Surfaces
  • Uneven walkways

Social Guide

Download, print and read our social guide (PDF) about visiting Charles Fort. This will help first-time visitors, families and people with developmental and learning disabilities to prepare for a visit to Charles Fort.

Download the Social Guide

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