Medieval Northern Ireland Castles: Carrickfergus Castle

Carrickfergus, County Antrim, Northern Ireland
(54.713314°N 5.806446°W)

1177 AD
Open to Visitors

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


Carpark (Paid)
Limited Access
Carrickfergus Castle Interior.
Carrickfergus Castle Interior. Source: Wikimedia Commons.
View of Carrickfergus in the late eighteenth century.
View of Carrickfergus in the late eighteenth century. Source: Wikimedia Commons.
Carrickfergus Castle, View.
Carrickfergus Castle, View. Source: Wikimedia Commons.


09.00 to 16.30


Marine Hwy, Carrickfergus BT38 7BG


+44 28 9335 1273


Adults £5.50
Child 4-16£3.50
Family up to 5 members including 3 adults£15
Senior citizens£3.50


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Medieval Britain: Newark Castle. Image courtesy of Wikimedia.

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More to see in Northern Ireland

Northern-Ireland Medieval Towns: Carrickfergus


Carrickfergus sits on the north shore of Belfast Lough and is County Antrim’s oldest town

Medieval Northern Ireland Castles: Dunluce Castle

Dunluce Castle

Dunluce Castle is ruined medieval castle in Northern Ireland, the seat of Clan McDonnell.

Books about Medieval Times