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

Fortifications in the Shannon Estuary: Tarbert Island Battery

Demolished during the building of the ESB power station, this battery is shown by survey plans to have been bastion-shaped in plan with two faces overlooking the estuary to the north. The main armament was arranged behind these two parapets, with three guns to each and a centrally placed gun at the salient angle, giving seven pieces of ordnance in all. The battery was some 200 feet wide and had the usual arrangement of a defensible guardhouse in the rear. Entry to the battery was through an arched gateway about seven feet wide, presumably approached originally across a drawbridge over the dry moat. The battery was sited on the highest part of Tarbert Island; it is possible that it was one of the works under construction in 1794-95 or perhaps a partial rebuilding of one of these earlier structures. The defensible guardhouse was similar in dimensions and detail to those that survive in good condition at Kilcredaun and Kilkerin, suggesting a date of construction contemporary with them, between 1808 and 1814. Tarbert battery was sited about forty feet above water level, towards the south-east side of the island; a late eighteenth-century painting of the Shannon depicts a battery with embrasures close to water level on the north side of Tarbert Island, which may be the battery of 1783 or a work built by Ferrier in the 1790s. In 1811 Tarbert was recorded as having thirteen guns, suggesting that this battery at water level or another work was in use in addition to the battery and defensible guardhouse described above.


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