Elizabeth Fort

Barracks Street

walls of fort

Elizabeth Fort was built in the 16 century on the site of a monastic settlement. It was destroyed in 1603 by the citizens of Cork as an act of defiance against James I, whom they refused to recognise. Lord Mountjoy ordered that the fort be rebuilt. What is seen today is the outer wall of the structure that was rebuilt in the same year.

In 1690 it was attacked by John Churchill but survived. Since then it has been a prison and a barracks. It was a mustering point for British troops on their way to quell the revolt in the colonies during the American War of Independence. Elizabeth Fort was used by the Black and Tans in 1920 and by the Republicans during the civil war, who burned it down rather than surrender it to the Free State. It is now a police station.

The exceptional view of the city this fort commands explains why it was such a strategic site and it is worth a visit for this alone. Next to Elizabeth Fort is the Gateway Bar, which is the oldest pub in Cork. It was established in 1698 and the Dukes of Wellington and Marlborough were among its patrons.

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