Grey Point Fort will on Saturday receive the Fortress Study Group (FSG), Pembroke College, Oxford award in recognition of the restoration and reuse of this unique State Care Monument.
This award is only the third site in the British Isles to be presented, and a first for Northern Ireland.
At a special event to mark the occasion the firing of one of the Fort’s restored coastal battery guns will take place at approximately noon on Saturday.
The Fortress Study Group is an international society concerned with all aspects of military architecture, fortifications and their armaments especially works constructed to mount and resist artillery worldwide.
Environment Minister Mark. H Durkan speaking about the significance of the Fort and its legacy said: “2014-18 is a particularly poignant time, marking the centenary of the First World War, a major event in world history that is directly connected to the history of Grey Point Fort.
“Recent works at the site have included a community excavation late last year with over 200 local school children participating. This helped gather more detail about the training trenches, unearthed a machine-gun nest and the remains of barbed wire entanglements which will enhance visitors’ understanding and interpretation. Further conservation works are planned for this year.
“This prestigious award, only the third to be awarded on these islands and a first for here, is clear recognition of the commitment that my Department, and particularly local volunteers and the community have for Grey Point Fort. It demonstrates the very powerful positive effect of greater community involvement in the active use and preservation of our rich built heritage.
“Further, on Sunday the Fort provides an excellent vantage point for people to view the spectacle of the Tall Ship Parade of Sails. The flotilla on their journey to Whitehead leaves Belfast around midday. It will also afford visitors and enthusiasts the opportunity to explore and engage with the many exhibitions and stalls at the Fort.”