Old Fort Restaurant stands on the bank of the Shannon River near Athlone, on the border of County Roscommon.
During the Napoleonic wars, this fort was part of a defense system built by the British to protect against an anticipated French invasion.
The British reasoned that by landing in the west, the French could cross the Shannon and march on Dublin. The idea was not outrageous; similar invasions had already been attempted.
These unique defensive tete-a-pont fortifications at Shannonbridge were begun in 1802 and completed in 1817. Initially manned by a hundred British troops, the fort stood until 1865. The expected French invasion never came.