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Unidentified photographer 
Cobh and Spike Island, Cork 
Glass negative 
9 x 18 cm 
National Library of Ireland 
Call number: STPA303 
Cobh, or Queenstown as it was known until 1922, was an important port for trade and military use. It was a major naval base for the British. Fort Westmoreland, a classic star shaped fortress, was built in 1792 to enhance the fortification of the harbour in conjunction with Fort Camden and Carlisle. The photograph shows the large fort and prison on Spike Island. It was the main penal prison in Ireland between 1847 and 1883, and convicts were held in the prison until they were transported to penal settlements in Australia. In 1883 the jail closed, but the fort remained in use by the military. 

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