James Fort (Irish: Dún Rí Shéamuis) is located on Castlepark peninsula in Kinsale harbour, downstream on the River Bandon from Kinsale and overlooking the town. Charles Fort is located on the opposite side of the harbour.
Before James fort was constructed, an earlier medieval fortification existed on the site. This fortification, named Castle Ny-Parke was occupied for a time by Spanish forces during the early part of the Siege of Kinsale. It was captured however from the Spanish by Sir Richard Smyth who led the attacking English forces of Charles Blount, Lord Mountjoy.
Construction of James Fort, which is named after James I of England and VI of Scotland, started in 1602 - immediately after the Siege of Kinsale. The new fort was constructed to designs by Paul Ive (to replace the older medieval structure) and was completed in 1607.
As with Charles Fort on the other side of the harbour, James Fort was occupied by Jacobite forces during the Williamite War in Ireland. It was captured however in 1690 by Williamite forces.
- Thomas Stafford (1810). Pacata Hibernia: or, A history of the wars in Ireland.
- Hugh Montgomery-Massingbred (editor) (1976). Irish Family Records. ISBN 978-0-85011-050-0.
- Stephenson, Charles. 'Servant to The King for His Fortifications:' Paul Ive and The Practise of Fortification.
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