Fort Lonehort, Bere Island, Co.Cork – July 2008

In 1898 the British Military raised a compulsory purchase order on the eastern end of Bere island, West Cork. Tenants were cleared from the land in order to construct fortifications. The purpose of these fortifications was to protect the British Fleet at anchor in the bay while routine maintenance was carried out. Seven gun batteries were constructed at the Ardaragh Battery and the larger Lonehort Battery.  These fortifications remained in British hands until 1938 when they were handed over to the Irish forces. Irish forces still operate on the island, based mainly in ‘Fort Berehaven’ which is located only one mile from Fort Lonehort.

Fort Lonehort has been unoccupied since the 1970s and now lies abandoned and overgrown with the two remaining six inch guns slowly rusting away. The land has been earmarked for development into a tourism site however there seems to be no information on the current progress of this development.

Bere Island is quite isolated and although there are regular car ferries to the island, tourism doesn’t seem to have taken off here. Due to this, the difficult access to the fort and therefore very little foot traffic, barely any vandalism has occurred here.  This means Fort Lonehort is a rare example of a nearly untouched naval fort and probably one of the best preserved naval forts in the country.

01 Bridge

Below is the 15ft deep dry moat which entirely surrounds the fort02 Dry Moat

03 Red Brick

04 Barred Window

05 Fallen Floorboards

06 Boiler Room

07 Peeling Paint

09 Rusting Away

10 Fort Alley

11 Blocked Exit

12 Green Room

13 Back Room

14 Wilderness

15 Rusted Doorway

Rusting searchlights

16 Rusting Searchlights

17Stove

18 Trashed Room

19 Rusted Object

20 Grey Tower

21 Graffiti Room

22 Retaken by the Elements

The 9 inch shell lift located in the tunnels below where the 9 inch gun used to be located. This would be used to load shells from the underground ammo store into the gun directly above it.

23 9 Inch Shell Lift

24 Tunnels

The two remaining 6 inch guns

25 1st 6 Inch Gun

26 2nd 6 Inch Gun

27 Rusted Shut

28 Gun Emplacement

29 Issue Hatch

6 inch shell lift

30 Shell Lift1

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