About Carrickfergus Castle

Carrickfergus Castle was established in 1177 and remained a prominent stronghold in Northern Ireland for over 700 years.

Originally built by the Anglo-Norman nobleman John de Courcy, Carrickfergus Castle was modified repeatedly over the centuries as new weapons, tactics and threats brought fresh challenges to those defending the area. Significant works to Carrickfergus Castle were carried out in the 13th, 16th and 17th centuries.

Notable events in Carrickfergus Castle’s history include a successful siege by King John in 1210, the arrival of William of Orange (William III) to Ireland in 1690 and a raid by French forces in 1760. Carrickfergus Castle even witnessed a small naval encounter fought during the America Revolution.

Later uses of Carrickfergus Castle included being used as a prison, armoury, military garrison and an air raid shelter during World War II.

Today Carrickfergus Castle is an historic site run by the Northern Ireland Environment Agency and is open to the public. Notable areas of Carrickfergus Castle that are worth seeing on a visit include the restored banqueting hall, medieval life exhibits and the 17th-19th century cannons which once formed part of the castle’s defences.

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