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Elizabeth Fort

Elizabeth Fort, 124 Barrack Street, Cork, Ireland
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Elizabeth Fort is a 17th-century star fort off Barrack Street in Cork, Ireland. Originally built as a defensive fortification on high-ground outside the city walls, the city eventually grew around the fort, and it took on various other roles – including use as a military barracks, prison, and police station. Since 2014, the fort has seen some development as a tourism heritage site, reportedly attracting 36,000 visitors during 2015. The walls of the fort have been accessible to the public on a regular basis since September 2014.HistoryElizabeth Fort was first built in 1601 on a hill to the south and outside the medieval walls of Cork. This position was chosen because, while the city had relied on Shandon Castle and the city walls for defence since Anglo-Norman times, the development of artillery and the possibility of its deployment on the hills surrounding the city, diminished the potential effectiveness of these defences. The fort was built by Sir George Carew and named after Queen Elizabeth I.This original fort was built of timber and earth, and within a few years was pulled down by the citizens of Cork. Fearing that the fort might be used against them by James I during the Tudor conquest of Ireland, the mayor and people of Cork demolished the fort in 1603. Cork was retaken however by Lord Mountjoy and the fort was rebuilt.This early construction took place on the site of an existing church. This Hiberno-Norman-period church dated from at least the High Middle Ages and appears in documents and maps as "St Mary del Nard" (1199), or "Holy Cross del Nard" (1311). In John Speed's map of Cork (1610) "Holy Roe" church is marked within the walls of the (then) newly finished fort.