Fort Camden Crosshaven

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Fort Camden Crosshaven

Postby Fort Camden on Wed May 11, 2011 8:45 am

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The fort at Camden, Crosshaven, one of the finest remaining classic artillery forts in the world named after one of the most famous men in Ireland, Thomas Francis Meagher, open to the public.
Thousands of people from all over Ireland visited Fort Camden, Crosshaven during September when the fort, officially named as Fort Meagher, was open to the public for the first time.

The partnership project, which is being spearheaded by Crosshaven Tourism on behalf of the local community association, is being undertaken by Fas workers with funding from Cork County Council and the active support of Rescue Camden, local businesses and other volunteers the local community

At a reception to mark the restoration of two of its barrack rooms, County Manager Martin Riordan congratulated everyone involved. 'This is all about action by a small group with lots of energy and commitment to their own locality. There's lot of talk about what could and should be done but right now we need more bodies like Crosshaven Community Association and Tourism'.

Mr Riordan paid tribute to Fas and praised the staff in the county council who put so much work into the project over many years, including former chief planning officer Brendan Kelleher. He concluded by saying that there had to date, been a tremendous return for a relatively small investment.

Congratulations were also extended by Cllr John A Collins who said it was a landmark day and the start of a bright new beginning for Fort Camden. The fact that on the day he visited during September, he heard so many non-Irish accents confirmed its exciting potential as a military heritage, tourism and arts attraction.

Paul Brierley, chairman of Crosshaven Tourism said the opening of the first two rooms to be restored was a day of celebration. He spoke of the tremendous voluntary ethos and goodwill and believed the project would be 'a template for the county'

He thanked the county manager 'for allowing us a sense of community ownership, his belief in our ability to deliver, his support thus far' and applauded him for 'a shared vision of realizing the tourism potential of Cork Harbour of which there can be no doubt Fort Camden and indeed Crosshaven will have a huge role to play'.

'We have opened the gates to what we feel will be the 'jewel in the crown' of Cork Harbour and Crosshaven, one of the finest remaining classic artillery forts in the world named after one of the most famous men in Ireland, Thomas Francis Meagher', said Paul who urged people to continue supporting the project.
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Re: Fort Camden Crosshaven

Postby Fort Camden on Wed May 11, 2011 8:56 am

Model of Fort as it might have looked in its glory days

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Fort Meagher is positioned on Rams Head near Crosshaven, covering the entrance of Cork Harbour with Fort Carlisle opposite. It was one of four fortifications built in the late 1800's and early 1900's to protect Cork Harbour.

Prior to Irish Independence, it was known as Fort Camden which it is still commonly known as today. By virtue of Cork Harbour being a Treaty Port, it remained occupied by British Forces until July 1938 when control was handed over to the Irish Defence Forces.

Fort Camden, which got its name from the Earl of Camden, the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland between 1795 and 1798, is described in an historical note which was put in evidence as being recognised internationally to be one of the world’s finest remaining examples of a classical Coast Artillery Fort. After it was handed over to the Irish government in 1938, it was renamed Fort Meagher in honour of Thomas Francis Meagher. However, the evidence indicates that it continued to be known as Fort Camden locally.

Since the irish Government handed it over to Cork County Council in the 80s notting was done to the Fort it was left to rot away. Since 2010 th rescue Camden Committee along with crosshaven Tourisim have been working on the Fort to restore it to its former glory.

Fas are also on board now and have 7 workers in the fort mon to fri full time working on the fort. At weekends the have volunteer days wher members of the public arrive at the fort and get stuck in.

thabks to all the hard work the Fort will now be open to the Public on weekends from July 2 right through to Sep 22. It is hoped to have Re-enactors on the site for the opening weekend and closeing weekend although if ye want to pop down any other weekend you would be more than welcome.
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Re: Fort Camden Crosshaven

Postby Fort Camden on Wed May 11, 2011 9:03 am

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The road to the fort is covered by the casemated barracks on its immediate approach to the entrance where it crosses a deep rock cut ditch that reaches to the water's edge and is covered by a two-tiered musketry gallery in the casemated barracks. Immediately across the ditch is the entrance to the fort with the guardhouse to the right. The casemated barracks occupy the north-east comer of the fort. It is single storey with provision for artillery on the roof, mounted in three sections, with two expense magazines acting as traverses, each section containing positions for two guns and tiered from west to east. The roof is currently overgrown, both the magazines survive and it is the only section of the ramparts where the individual gun positions are distinguishable, helped by the embrasures.

The terreplein, covering the landward side of the fort, continues in an arc from the north-west to the south with some five expense magazines which can just be made out in the vegetation and these are shown on the plans. It is apparent from the plans that there were no fixed positions for the guns, but a movable armament was provided for the terreplein with two gun ramps. The landward side is surrounded by a deep ditch 40 feet deep and 28 feet wide. This is covered at the centre point by a two-storied caponier for a total of eight guns with flanking musketry galleries in the usual fashion. As can be seen from the armament returns, four of the special 32-pdr SBBL guns were shown as being mounted in the caponier at the turn of the century. The ditch, on reaching the southern corner of the fort, slopes sharply down to the shore.
At the point where the ditch starts to descent to the shore there is a musketry gallery to cover a possible ascent from the water.

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At the southern corner of the fort is another section ofcasemated barrack and it is from here that steps lead down to the flanking gallery that covers the ditch. Within the area enclosed by the ramparts is the main body of the fort, with free standing store and barrack buildings for officers and men. Various hutments survive some in better condition than others. In the centre is the caphouse containing the spiral staircase that goes down to the underground magazine which consists of one large vaulted chamber.

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In this upper tier of the fort there are three gun batteries. Left Upper Battery, originally built for three 7-inch RMLs and later reconstructed for two 6-inch guns that later became the dummy or decoy guns. Right Upper Battery originally built for three 10-inch RMLs and later reconstructed for three 12-pdr QF guns with one of the RML positions surviving intact. On the southern flank of this battery and at a higher level is Upper Practice Battery for two guns.


From the Left Upper Battery a zig-zag traverse leads down to the lower tier of the fort and the dock, the approach to which is covered by a musketry gallery. Approximately 150 yards from the dock, in a north westerly direction, is the site of the Brennan Torpedo installation, the rooms or chambers for the machinery are extant and built into the cliff with traces of the rails leading into the water. Just before reaching the dock, there is an impressive vaulted gateway that leads to the Left Lower Battery where there were three 7-inch RML guns on Moncrieff mountings. This is very obvious, even though, when the battery was reconstructed each emplacement was filled with concrete for a 12-pdr QF.

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Passing behind the gun line and through another vaulted entrance is the casemated Right Lower Battery for four 10-inch RMLs complete with armoured shields and sloping iron frontages. Above this battery in its northern flank is the very overgrown remains of the minefield battery for three 6-pdr QF guns. In front of the Right Lower Battery, just above sea level was a musketry parapet to prevent escalade. Later, two searchlight positions were built just behind the parapet to work in conjunction with the QF guns and the searchlights at Fort Carlisle
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Re: Fort Camden Crosshaven

Postby Fort Camden on Wed May 11, 2011 9:23 am

Some of the work Being done on site.

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Last edited by Fort Camden on Wed May 11, 2011 9:36 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Fort Camden Crosshaven

Postby Fort Camden on Wed May 11, 2011 9:31 am

Some More

Before
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As ye can see loads of work going on but you would really have to see it in person to get the full feel for the work been done and all the work left to do.

So if you in cork o a weekend between July and September popin for a look.
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Re: Fort Camden Crosshaven

Postby Fort Camden on Wed May 11, 2011 9:34 am

If you have served in Camden, Lived in Camden or any Infomation old photos we would love to hear from you and help piece some of the Irish Armys history in the Fort
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Re: Fort Camden Crosshaven

Postby Nerva on Fri May 13, 2011 11:49 pm

Superb work Paul!
Vale

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Re: Fort Camden Crosshaven

Postby Heartofoak on Sun May 15, 2011 5:04 pm

This really is very impressive. Obviously the spirit of 'volunteering' is not dead.

I have never been in the fort but felt sad when I saw some photos on this site, last year I think, of the state of the place.

Congrats to all involved, the relatively small investments made in preserving this and other unprotected historical buildings around the country will yield dividends in the future. Well done!
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Re: Fort Camden Crosshaven

Postby Fort Camden on Mon May 16, 2011 9:45 am

Most of the work being done is foc, we now have 6 apprentices starting on site in the next few weeks. These are people who did not get a chance to finsh their apprentice due to the slow down on the building front.
Once the 6 have finished we hope to bring in another 6 as lon as FAS are still on board and supporting the work.

We will now have 15 Fas employees on site mon to fri.

Suplemented with voulenters at weekends work will be ongoing all the time, one day it will all be done :D

Please feel free to pitch in :)
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Re: Fort Camden Crosshaven

Postby Nerva on Tue May 17, 2011 7:57 pm

Salve Amici!

How does one go about helping out?

Vale,

Martin.
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