Today's post was written by my friend and fellow expat, Emily Davis-Fletcher. She writes a lot of great poetry and fiction. She also has a sly sense of humor, hidden beneath a friendly and innocent-seeming smile. (Shhh!)
I love Charles Fort. If Charles Fort were a man and not a 17th century coastal ruin, I’d marry him. Stunning in any weather—dark and mysterious under threatening skies that shower you with misty kisses or charming and gracious in full sun with a generous world view, heaping a sea of diamonds upon you. Charles Fort has something special to offer every romantic soul.
Dynamic and complex as any Irish man (without the mammy) – rough and rugged as one of the largest star-shaped military forts in the country with a roguish flare for drama, showing off in front of brazen cliffs and plunging sea line. But Charles Fort is no bully or macho man. In fact, its tender side is its most striking. Low to the ground, it seems to crouch, enveloped by soft, thick grass sprinkled with white and lavender flowers like a plush blanket laid out for you to walk or lie on.
If you need romance, you are in luck. Romance is Charles Fort’s specialty by providing plenty of the key ingredient: suspense. Charles Fort holds out for 30 minutes as you get closer, sometimes losing sight of each other along the winding trail from Kinsale called Scilly Walk. When you finally meet at the crest of a hill, your blood will be pumping, your heart racing, and your cheeks flushed.
If you like a challenge, this is the fort for you. Impenetrable, it faces out to the sea with walls up to 6 meters thick, but change is possible with the right lover. But lovers beware, like all romantic figures, Charles Fort has a history. It was constructed between 1670 and 1680 to secure the harbor entrance into Kinsale and defend the town. Over the centuries, it has been a strategic site of battle during the Williamite Wars, a stronghold of occupation for the English, and a spot of conflict in the Irish Civil War which erupted between the state and anti-treaty forces.
If you are the type that gets weak in the knees over a dark, gothic sense of humor, Charles Fort is more than able to make you fall head of heels as you stumble through a nearby cemetery abandoned by all except thorns and weeds and cheeky, moonlighting grave diggers.
And for the unromantic…well there were a few battles at this site, most notably the Battle of Kinsale in 1601 in which lots of people suffered agonizing, gruesome deaths. Thirsty? Then, follow the hill down to The Bulman, call a pint and watch some sweet, dumb local mutt play chicken with every car that struggles to pass.
Emily is also currently sprucing up Some Neat Things by enhancing the content curation and turning it into a creative space, which really IS neat! In her spare time she's a grave digger. (Ok, not really. But she could be if she wanted to.) If you'd like to hire Emily to compose some smokin' prose for you, you can email her.
Lovely post! Your descriptions of that big expanse of tidy land–with water view, no less–is calling me to come and see if I can make it up that hill!
BTW, there was an American writer in the early part of the 20th century named Charles Fort. He wrote books about “anomalous phenomena.” (My term?:”Spooky”) My dad, who was logical in every other way, loved these books and let me read them, which resulted in nightmares for me for many years.
Charles Fort’s books are still in print. As a writer, I consider that a pretty good accomplishment, but I am in no way tempted to follow in his footsteps!
I think I’ve been to a few places that I’d marry, too. :) I can see why you say that about Charles Fort. Very romantic with a dramatic history. Looks like a wonderful place to visit — as are so many sites in Ireland.
And right across the water is James Fort, the abandoned cousin of Charles Fort. Both places are lovely for picnics on a sunny day. :)