1550 Original Fortifications Fortifications on the site originally date from around 1550 and were further added to in 1600.
1601 Battle of Kinsale Following the Battle of Kinsale, which finally saw England’s conquest of Ireland, the fort fell into disuse. The fort was fortified again at the end of the 17th century by the Jacobites in an effort to block the Williamites’ naval forces.
1690 Fort Invaded In 1690 the fort was used to fire on the Williamite fleet as it entered Cork Harbour. However, a party was secretly sent ashore to attack the fort from the landward side and the fort fell to the invaders.
1799 Napoleonic War At the start of the Napoleonic War (1799 – 1815), the naval establishment at Kinsale was transferred to Haulbowline Island in Cork Harbour. Fort Camden was remodelled and numerous other defences were installed around the Cork coastline to provide protection to Haulbowline Island Naval Base and the surrounding harbour area.
1837 Fort Camden used as a Prison By 1837 Fort Camden contained only a token force of a master gunner and eight men. The fort was briefly used as a prison. Prisoners were used for their labour in the construction of its fortification.
1861 Large-scale Construction By the mid 1800’s Cork Harbour was seen as an increasingly important strategic position for the defence of Ireland, the west coast of England and Wales. Large-scale construction work began at the fort in 1861. In 1863 the War Department took over the work after the original contractor went bankrupt.
1891 The Brennan Torpedo From 1891 ‘The Brennan Torpedo’, the world’s first practical guided missile, was based in only eight locations worldwide. Fort Camden was fitted with one of these installations.
1922 Anglo-Irish Treaty When the Irish Free State was established in 1922, a clause in the Anglo-Irish Treaty left the harbour defences at Cork, Berehaven and Lough Swilly in the control of the British government. These ports became known as the Treaty Ports.
1938 Handover of the Fort On the 11th of July 1938 the harbour defences at Cork were handed over to the Irish authorities. Eamon De Valera and Irish Military chiefs were present to take part in the historic handover ceremony.