1 December 2023
By Elaine Murphy
Camden Fort Meagher, Crosshaven is currently undergoing a comprehensive revitalisation and enhancement programme. The fort is currently closed to the public to facilitate extensive essential restoration on the casemate block which houses the fort’s primary exhibitions. Renovations include the excavation of over seven feet of fill material from the earthen roof of the casemate block, fixing the roof drainage system, repairing stone and brickwork, raking out and repointing of stone joints and applying a new waterproof tanking system to ensure the structure’s waterproof integrity.
Excavation works undertaken as part of the programme have revealed two stone emplacements which will remain exposed above ground level following completion of the works. A waterproofing layer has been installed and infilling of material is expected to be completed this year. Raking out and repointing of stone joints has restored the striking appearance of the brickwork and will protect the historic structure from further damage.
While these significant revitalisation works are being advanced, Cork County Council staff and volunteers continue to work together to ensure a successful reopening of the fort in early 2024. Expressions of interest have been sought from new and returning volunteers and a recruitment campaign for seasonal staff has been launched in preparation of next year’s reopening. It is intended that the fort will re-open for additional days each week and for an extended season in 2024. Cork County Council is delighted that so many of the previous volunteers have come back on board to continue their efforts in preserving and promoting the fort.
A full review of the potential of the fort has been carried out, with future phases of development identified to preserve Camden Fort Meagher’s historical significance, as well as contributing significantly to the local community and economy. The vision for the site includes heritage and structure preservation, the development of exhibitions, educational programs, biodiversity works, promotion of arts and culture, hosting corporate and community events, accommodating volunteering and work-experience programmes and introducing health and wellbeing programmes. These initiatives will further encourage the wider community to enjoy the fort while attracting even more local and international visitors, promoting Camden Fort Meagher and Crosshaven as an exceptional tourist and business destination.
Until recently, the fort was under the control of a designated activated company supported by Cork County Council. This company is now in the final stages of being dissolved with responsibility transferring to the Council’s Municipal District Operations Directorate under a new operational framework to streamline governance and enhance local community involvement.
Cork County Council and the dedicated volunteers of Camden Fort Meagher look forward to welcoming visitors back to the fort in 2024.