Carrickfergus Castle, Carrickfergus

Carrickfergus Castle is a Norman Irish 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 . 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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608 reviews
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4.4
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  • 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 »
  • ...this was lacking in activity for smaller kids and I have to admit it actually more interesting from the outside!  more »
  • From the outside there seemed nothing and instead once: wow! Immaculately maintained and well organized, really worth visiting.
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  • Great place to visit. Very interesting. Staff are very friendly and knowledgeable. Lots of nice places to eat in the town.
  • A must see! One of the best, most intact castles in Ireland. Great tour too.
  • 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!
  • The castle are close to the sea port of the city. It's well restored with a rest area and a little museum, where the children can play and learn
  • My first time here and I love it.. Castle is very historic.. There's plenty of places nearby for a grub. Highly recommended this place.

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60 days in Northern Ireland BY A USER FROM CANADA July, outdoors, historic sites, fast-paced, popular PREFERENCES: July, outdoors, historic sites ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Fast-paced 55 days in United Kingdom & Ireland BY A USER FROM AUSTRALIA January, slow & easy, popular PREFERENCES: January ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Slow & easy 8 days in Northern Ireland BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES February, culture, relaxing, historic sites, shopping, fast-paced, popular PREFERENCES: February, culture, relaxing, historic sites, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Fast-paced 12 days in Ireland & United Kingdom BY A USER FROM UNITED KINGDOM November, culture, relaxing, historic sites, fast-paced, popular PREFERENCES: November, culture, relaxing, historic sites ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Fast-paced 32 days in Ireland & United Kingdom BY A USER FROM UNITED KINGDOM January, culture, relaxing, historic sites, fast-paced, popular PREFERENCES: January, culture, relaxing, historic sites ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Fast-paced 32 days in Ireland & United Kingdom BY A USER FROM UNITED KINGDOM November, culture, relaxing, historic sites, fast-paced, popular PREFERENCES: November, culture, relaxing, historic sites ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Fast-paced 32 days in Ireland & United Kingdom BY A USER FROM UNITED KINGDOM January, culture, relaxing, historic sites, fast-paced, popular PREFERENCES: January, culture, relaxing, historic sites ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Fast-paced 3 days in Carrickfergus BY A USER FROM CANADA May, culture, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, popular PREFERENCES: May, culture, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 14 days in United Kingdom & Ireland BY A USER FROM NEW ZEALAND July, popular PREFERENCES: July ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 22 days in Northern Ireland BY A USER FROM MALAYSIA April, outdoors, relaxing, historic sites, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: April, outdoors, relaxing, historic sites ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 3 days in Carrickfergus BY A USER FROM CANADA April, culture, outdoors, romantic, historic sites, shopping, popular PREFERENCES: April, culture, outdoors, romantic, historic sites, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 29 days in Northern Ireland BY A USER FROM AUSTRALIA May, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: May ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium
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