The Magazine Fort in Phoenix Park is unusually neglected and at the same time unusually rich in history. Many have seen it as a barred off concrete fortress in a corner of Phoenix Park and even more don’t even know or have forgotten that it exists. The old Phoenix House, the home of the British Viceroy, was on the site where the fort was built from the early 17th century and then in 1734 the Fort was built and extended in 1801.
In 1916 the Fort was raided by the rebels who expected to find a lot of explosives there, but found the Fort nearly empty. In 1939 the IRA raided the Fort and stole more than a million rounds of ammunition, but most of it was recovered over the following weeks.
Since 1988, the Irish Army doesn’t use the Fort anymore and gave it back to the Office of Public Works (OPW), but not much good has happened to the Fort in the last 28 years (!!) and there were numerous speculations about the reasons for that.
Finally, this year, there will be guided tours at the Fort for three months from 31 July until the end of October. The tours take place on Sundays and Fridays at 10:00, 12:00, 14:00 and 15:30 and only 20 places are available on each tour.
Tickets are available at the Phoenix Park Visitor Centre on a first come, first served basis and can not be pre-booked. A shuttle bus will bring the ticket holders to the Fort.
I definitely want to visit the Magazine Fort, so you will find me in the queue at some stage.