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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

Please note that the Tea Rooms are closed from 1 November 2022.


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

01 November 2022- Mid March 2023

Open daily 10:00 – 17:00

Last admission 16:00


Seasonal Opening Times

17 March -31 October

Open daily 10:00 – 18:00

Last admission 17:00


November - Mid March

Daily 10:00- 17:00

Last admission 16:00


Tea Rooms:

Open from 17 March- 30 April weekends only.

From 1 May – 30 September open daily . Weekends only in October

Tea Rooms closed from 01 November 2022.




Summer Cove
Co. Cork
P17 AY18

021 477 2263

Getting Here

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

Open location in Google Maps

Click the relevant icon below to open Maps directions


  • Baby Changing
  • Brochure
  • Café
  • Car park
  • Coach parking
  • Exhibition
  • Guided tours
  • Interpretive exhibit
  • 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.

Social Guide pages 1 and 2

Social Guide pages 3 and 4

Social Guide pages 5 and 6

Social Guide pages 7 and 8

Social Guide pages 9 and 10

Social Guide pages 11 and 12

Nearby sites to visit

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