Sligo‘s Green Fort (co-ordinates 54.27450 -8.46760), occasiomally called Sir Teigue O’ Reagans Fort, was an ancient site of strategic importance for the defence of the town, is situated in the townland of Forthill which got its name from the Green Fort which was built here in 1646.
The Green Fort is a star-shaped (or quadrilateral) fort, covering almost an acre of land, which was built to protect Sligo Town during the Jacobite war between William of Orange and King James II, and remain’s the only visible remnant of what was once a formidable fortification of Sligo Town.
The Green Fort was used as a military defence, and occupies an elevated position, affording itself of good view’s of the approaches to Sligo Harbour, the Bundoran and Manorhamilton roads as well as the general Sligo Town area.
The Green Fort was, in Celtic times, a regular ringed fort. This fort like all others was used as a farmstead which would have had a stone or wooden house, a number of storage buildings, and some farm animals, which grazed nearby, would have been brought in at night, to keep them safe from thieves and from other animals.
The Green Fort consisted of a large bastion with a platform at each corner. Access to the interior was gained via two gates with the whole site surrounded by a large fosse, with banked and ditched defences running due west and south of the site.
This fort would have been known as a rath, because it is surrounded by earth banks. and would have been known locally as the Sod Fort to differentiate it from the Stone Fort that used to stand where Sligo Town Hall stands today.
The Forthill History Society are currently lobbying Sligo Borough Council (now Sligo County Council), for the possible restoration of the Green Fort which, due to the nature of its construction, has been subjected to much erosion over the last 300 years.
The group are endeavouring to ensure the fort is protected and is accessible to all who may wish to see it as it is of major historical importance to the area. They plan on having a pathway constructed through the Fort from the two entrances, as well as having seating areas built, as they believe this would create a great tourist attraction as well as preserving the fort and the surrounding area.
If these plans go ahead, it would enable everybody to enjoy the spectacular views and scenery which can be seen from the Green Fort, such as Sligo Harbour, Knocknarea, Benbulben and the Daltry Mountains, the Glencar pass, Sligo Town and surrounding areas.