Categories of Special Interest
Architectural, Social, Technical
1905 - 1910
Freestanding three-bay single-storey pill box, built 1908. Now disused. Flat rendered roof with overhanging eaves. Rendered walls. Square-headed openings having splayed surrounds and interior iron shutters. Square-headed door opening with steps.
The form of this pill box is typical of its type. It retains its original form and defining features including interior gun emplacement fixings. Bere Island was recognized as being of great strategic importance following an attempted invasion of Ireland in 1796 by the French. The British built four Martello Towers and a signal tower on the island, as part of a chain of defence along the coast, in anticipation of any further attempts. In 1898 the east end of the island was compulsory purchased by the War Department and fortifications were built to protect British Dreadnoughts when they were in port. Accommodation for officers and men, along with store houses and other ancillary buildings were also constructed at this time. Additional works were undertaken in the first part of the twentieth century. Under the terms of the Anglo-Irish Treaty in 1921, the deep water port at Bere Island, along with those at Cobh and Lough Swilly, remained in British control until 1938.