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Fortifications in the Shannon Estuary and Galway Bay by Paul M. Kerrigan

Fortifications in the Shannon Estuary: Kilcredaun Point Battery

This battery commanded the northern side of the mouth of the Shannon; the 24-pounders here had a range of a little over a mile, covering the deep-water channel, which is closer to the northern shore. The estuary is two miles wide at this point.

The keystone over the blockhouse doorway, Kilcredaun Battery
The keystone over the blockhouse doorway, Kilcredaun Battery

The battery, forming a D-shaped enclosure in plan, has had much of the masonry facing removed from the scarp and counterscarp of the dry moat since the place was abandoned as a military post in the middle or late nineteenth century. Entrance to the battery was originally across a drawbridge over the dry ditch or moat. The defensible guardhouse is in a good state of preservation on the exterior; it was entered from within the battery by a drawbridge slightly wider than the entrance doorway, over which the keystone bears the date 1814 (see fig., above). The guardhouse has a basement or lower ground floor, level with the base of the dry moat in which it stands. The upper floor, level with the ground level of the battery, was approached by the drawbridge; above this floor level (in this blockhouse the floor structure has collapsed) is the gun platform carried on the barrel-vaulted ceiling of the first-floor apartments (see fig., below).

Musket-loops are provided at the lower level, allowing for close defence of the moat in the manner of a caponnière. Musket-loops at the upper floor level, evidently originally fitted with shutters on the outer face of the wall, command the interior of the battery. Other loops are arranged on the opposite side at this level, facing the approach to the rear of the battery on the landward side—a feature only found at Kilcredaun. On the roof-level gun platform, protected by broad parapets some six feet in height, were two guns mounted on traversing platforms: howitzers or carronades for defence of the landward side of the battery. The traversing platforms, one at each end of the roof, enabled the guns to be trained through an angle of about 270 degrees, covering the ground on each flank of the battery and to the rear. The main armament of the battery consisted of six 24-pounder guns mounted on traversing platforms, each revolving on a front pivot behind the inner face of the parapet. The description of this battery and its armament is generally applicable to the other batteries, except that on Tarbert Island.

Kilcreduan Battery, the blockhouse
Kilcreduan Battery, the blockhouse


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