Carrickfergus Castle (from Carraig Ḟergus or “strong man” in Irish) is a Norman castle in County Antrim, on the northern shore of Belfast Lough. The castle is one of the best preserved medieval structures in Northern Ireland and was besieged by the Scottish, native Irish, English and French. It was strategically useful because 3/4 of its perimeter is surrounded by water.
Carrickfergus was built in 1177 as headquarters for John de Courcy after he conquered eastern Ulster in 1177 (and ruled as a petty king until 1204). Initially, the inner ward, a small bailey at the end of the promontory with a high polygonal curtain wall and east gate was built. It had several buildings, including the great hall. In 1210, King John laid siege to it and took control of what was then Ulster’s premier strategic garrison. After the collapse of the Earldom of Ulster in 1333, the castle remained the Crown’s principal residential and administrative centre in the north of Ireland.
The banqueting hall in Carrickfergus is fully restored and there are many exhibits to show what life was like in medieval times.
Visit Carrickfergus Castle
09.00 to 16.30
Marine Hwy, Carrickfergus BT38 7BG
+44 28 9335 1273
|Family up to 5 members including 3 adults
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More to see in Northern Ireland
Harry Avery’s Castle is a rare example of a stone castle built by a Gaelic Irish chief.
Enniskillen Castle was first built in 1428 and remodeled in 1609 and 1796.
Carrickfergus sits on the north shore of Belfast Lough and is County Antrim’s oldest town
Dunluce Castle is ruined medieval castle in Northern Ireland, the seat of Clan McDonnell.