Carrickfergus Castle, Carrickfergus

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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Carrickfergus Castle Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
608 reviews
Google
4.4
TripAdvisor
  • August 21, 2017
    I thought that it was a nice place with some great history...it is very well-kept but perhaps after I had visited several others it just seemed a bit boring. They do have a very nice gift shop and som...  more »
  • August 20, 2017
    ...this was lacking in activity for smaller kids and I have to admit it actually more interesting from the outside!  more »
  • August 19, 2017
    From the outside there seemed nothing and instead once: wow! Immaculately maintained and well organized, really worth visiting.
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Google
  • It's not the most grand castle, but it has a tremendous history. Very medieval, very interesting. My wife and I spent a few hours here discovering all we could about it, and loved it. Yes, it's not a huge ruins castle like others, but it's still worth a visit. Lots of good views, right on the harbor/coast. Great location!
  • It's full of history but not practical for buggies or wheelchairs. A lot if it is outdoors so make sure to bring a coat. We expected to be more exciting. Overall experience OK.
  • Loved it really priced cheap 5 pounds, nice way to get little history. Great way to pass the time
  • It's unusual to see a castle in such good condition it really give you an idea of what they were like.
  • The castle was a very enchancting experience. The massive walls and amazing design completely makes you lose a sense of time and self.

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29 days in Northern Ireland BY A USER FROM AUSTRALIA May, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: May ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 6 days in Northern Ireland BY A USER FROM SINGAPORE November, teens, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: November, teens ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 5 days in County Antrim BY A USER FROM UNITED KINGDOM December, popular PREFERENCES: December ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 16 days in Northern Ireland BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES February, romantic, historic sites, museums, shopping, hidden gems PREFERENCES: February, romantic, historic sites, museums, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Medium 7 days in County Antrim BY A USER FROM CANADA November, popular PREFERENCES: November ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 5 days in County Antrim BY A USER FROM UNITED KINGDOM November, popular PREFERENCES: November ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 57 days in Northern Ireland BY A USER FROM HONDURAS August, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, wildlife, popular PREFERENCES: August, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 16 days in United Kingdom, Amsterdam & Paris BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES November, popular PREFERENCES: November ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 2 days in Carrickfergus BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES September, historic sites, museums, slow & easy, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: September, historic sites, museums ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Slow & easy 2 days in Carrickfergus BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES September, historic sites, museums, hidden gems PREFERENCES: September, historic sites, museums ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Medium 2 days in Carrickfergus BY A USER FROM INDIA October, popular PREFERENCES: October ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 4 days in Northern Ireland BY A USER FROM IRELAND August, culture, outdoors, historic sites, shopping, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: August, culture, outdoors, historic sites, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium
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