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.Carrickfergus Castle is just one of the many highlights you can arrange to see using our international travel planner, Carrickfergus Edition.
Carrickfergus 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.
Tours to Carrickfergus Castle
Giant’s Causeway Day Trip from Belfast BOOK WITH VIATOR FROM $26
Duration: 10 hours
Premium Game of Thrones Tour from Belfast including Giants Causeway BOOK WITH VIATOR FROM $50
Duration: 8 hours
Carrickfergus Castle Reviews
This castle is very special but sadly not enough local people appreciate its beauty and history. Good to see lots of tourists around. more »
Only saw it from the outside with a quick peek inside the courtyard. However it was impressive from the outside and lots of information to read about it. more »
This was our first stop on the tour to Giant's Causeway. It was a fantastic place it was around 9 am in Morning and sun was rising so we got fabulous pics there. Castle not too big but nicely located. There are many old boats and new boats around that these make place even more beautiful. Also you can find many shops around it, Sainsbury's is also there. Nice place !!
Fantastic self guided tour. The main tower was closed halfway up so be sure to ask before purchasing if that's important to you. We were bummed but the experience was still well worth it.
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