Fort Dunree (meaning Fort of the Heather) is situated on the West coast of the Inishowen peninsula, just North of the town of Buncrana, in Co. Donegal, Ireland. It overlooks (and defended) the glacial Lough Swilly, one of the deep water harbours of Ireland. It is a former military fortification which was originally built in 1798 in response to fears of a Napoleanoic invasion. It played a crucial role in World War 1 where it protected the British Naval Fleet prior to the Battle of Jutland. Following Irish Independance in 1921, Fort Dunree was one of three treaty ports which was retained under British control until 1938 when it was handed over to the Irish government prior to the commencement of WW2. It opened to the public as a visitor attraction in 1986 and has remained largely untouched since then.
Fort Dunree is of significant historical importance not only nationally but worldwide. It is a rare example of a WW1 military fortification which has been largely left untouched for a century. Aswell as the general tourist, it attracts specialist military tourists from across the world, not only due to the history of the site itself but the individual artefacts and how they have been preserved. It hosts the original engines used to power the fort which were cutting edge for their time, examples of the earliest reinforced concrete structures (many of which were experimental), and early examples of barracks ‘kits’ (timber frame kits with corrugated metal cladding. It was also designed to be self sustaining with huge water catchment tanks and livestock grazing.
Architects: Keys and Monaghan Architects, Taylor McCarney Architects | Conservation Architect: Dedalus Architecture