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Carrickfergus Castle, Carrickfergus

(4.3/5 based on 500+ reviews on the web)
Carrickfergus Castle is a Norman castle in Northern Ireland, situated in the town of Carrickfergus in County Antrim, on the northern shore of Belfast Lough. Besieged in turn by the Scottish, Irish, English and French, the castle played an important military role until 1928 and remains one of the best preserved medieval structures in Northern Ireland. It was strategically useful, with 3/4 of the castle perimeter surrounded by water (although in modern times only 1/3 is surrounded by water due to land reclamation). Today it is maintained by the Northern Ireland Environment Agency as a state care historic monument, at grid ref: J4143 8725.OriginsCarrickfergus was built by John de Courcy in 1177 as his headquarters, after he conquered eastern Ulster in 1177 and ruled as a petty king until 1204, when he was ousted by another Norman adventurer, Hugh de Lacy. Initially de Courcy built the inner ward, a small bailey at the end of the promontory with a high polygonal curtain wall and east gate. It had several buildings, including the great hall. From its strategic position on a rocky promontory, originally almost surrounded by sea, the castle commanded Carrickfergus Bay (later known as Belfast Lough), and the land approaches into the walled town that developed beneath its shadows.
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13 days in Northern Ireland & Dublin BY A USER FROM CANADA June, culture, outdoors, relaxing, historic sites, museums, shopping, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: June, culture, outdoors, relaxing, historic sites, museums, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 9 days in Northern Ireland BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES July, kids, culture, outdoors, historic sites, popular PREFERENCES: July, kids, culture, outdoors, historic sites ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 7 days in County Antrim BY A USER FROM BELGIUM May, popular PREFERENCES: May ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 11 days in Northern Ireland BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES July, outdoors, hidden gems PREFERENCES: July, outdoors ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Medium 5 days in Northern Ireland BY A USER FROM AUSTRALIA September, popular PREFERENCES: September ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 5 days in Belfast, Carrickfergus & Bushmills BY A USER FROM UNITED KINGDOM April, kids, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, popular PREFERENCES: April, kids, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 16 days in Northern Ireland BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES May, outdoors, historic sites, museums, slow & easy, hidden gems PREFERENCES: May, outdoors, historic sites, museums ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Slow & easy 13 days in Northern Ireland BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES July, teens, popular PREFERENCES: July, teens ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 6 days in Northern Ireland BY A USER FROM UNITED ARAB EMIRATES July, kids, popular PREFERENCES: July, kids ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 22 days in Northern Ireland BY A USER FROM AUSTRALIA April, popular PREFERENCES: April ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 8 days in Northern Ireland BY A USER FROM UNITED KINGDOM April, outdoors, hidden gems PREFERENCES: April, outdoors ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Medium 7 days in Northern Ireland BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES April, kids, popular PREFERENCES: April, kids ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium
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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • They've done a fantastic job of bringing back the history of this incredible castle. As an adult, I really enjoyed reading the detailed placards and watching the historical videos, which really bring ...  more »
  • Cool castle, well worth a visit. It has a long and interesting history which the in house animation explains well. Fun to explore the levels and the narrow winding staircase. It's a fantastic view fro...  more »
  • Kids love going round this Castle even though they've did it about 3 times ☺ they is lovely views from all sides of the castle plus a lot of information about the history of the castle  more »
Google
  • Great historical visit with knowledgeable tour guides. A very reasonable entrance fee and there seems to be lots of events throughout the year. The castle itself is well maintained with an interesting history.
  • Very cool castle. Cost to get in is cheap and it can take up a good chunk of time to see the whole thing. Also very informative and well-preserved. There's not much to stop you from gong in without a ticket. Just saying.
  • Absolutely fantastic interactive experience for all ages. Reception staff were excellent and very accommodating. This is a definite must see for visitors and superb value for money. Thank you very much an excellent day
  • Besieged in turn by the Scottish, Irish, English and French, the castle played an important military role until 1928 and remains one of the best preserved medieval structures in Northern Ireland. It was strategically useful, with 3/4 of the castle perimeter surrounded by water (although in modern times only 1/3 is surrounded by water due to land reclamation)
  • Gorgeous views! Well preserved location. Great food nearby!