Featured image of Carrickfergus Castle

The History of Carrickfergus Castle

LocationCarrickfergus, County Antrim, Northern Ireland (Google Maps)
Open to VisitorsYes
Owned byThe Northern Ireland Environment Agency
Rooms Available Yes

Carrickfergus Castle is a Norman Castle situated in Northern Ireland on the north of Belfast Lough. Surrounded by the Irish, French, and English, the castle is one the most beautifully preserved medieval structures that played an important military role for them, until 1928.

History of Carrickfergus Castle

The castle was built by an Anglo-Norman knight Sir John de Courcy, in 1177 and was declared as his headquarters until he ruled as a petty King to the Eastern Ulster. Initially, Sir John built the inner walls of the castle and the subsequent outside of it, called the bailey, which spread till the end of the cliff. The castle is established on a rocky cliff where it goes to a town developed underneath. In 1778, the castle witnessed a rather important event when the American war of Independence began at Carrickfergus, with the honorable victory of John Paul Jones in an hour-long battle he undertook.

Carrickfergus Castle was used for various purposes over the course of centuries. In 1797 it was used as a house for the prisoners of war. For another century, it remained a magazine and armory. During The First World War, it was occupied for the purpose of storing garrison and ordnance and during the time of The Second World War, as an air raid shade. Later, after 1928, its ownership was transferred to the government and is currently preserved as an ancient monument.

Built in 1177, Carrickfergus Castle played an important military role until 1928 and remains one of the best-preserved medieval structures in Ireland.
Carrickfergus Castle”, by Jennifer Boyer, is licensed under CC BY 2.0


Carrickfergus Castle, a unique ancient Britain Monument established on the landscape of Carrickfergus, Northern Ireland, presently stages the most beautiful historical display and cannons from the 17th to 19th century and, of course, the mysterious history of the palace, embroidered in its avenue. Currently open to the public, the palace is a must-visit.

There are similar places around the castle that you can visit. Belfast Zoo houses more than a thousand species of animals and is worth a tour. You may also like to explore the Marine Gardens and Knockagh Monument, which is a similar war memorial. You will come across a few famous churches and lakes on the way.

Movie Features

  • Secrets of Great British Castles (2015)– Carrickfergus Castle has been featured in the 6th episode of the TV Series: Secrets of Great British Castles where Dan Jones, the writer of the show, explores the history and background of the famous castle and gives his audience a wonderful tour of the same.
  • Dungeons and Dragons (2023) An upcoming fanstasy-adventure film scheduled to be released in 2023 has filmed scenes at several Britain locations, including the Carrickfergus Castle where the insides of the castle will be featured.
  • Our Robot Overloads (2014) The film is about a group of youngsters who try to stop a robot invasion where the castle is used to facilitate shooting one of it’s scenes.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Who built the Carrickfergus Castle?

– Carrickfergus Castle was built by Sir John de Courcy in 1177 to be used as his headquarters. He ruled from the castle until his expulsion in 1204 when another Norman adventurer Hugh de Lacy took over.

  • How old is Carrickfergus Castle?

Built in 1177, the castle is more than 800 years old. It is a significant work of art established in Northern Ireland which now houses a historical display and cannons from the 17th and 19th centuries.

  • How to get to Carrickfergus Castle from Belfast?

– There are four ways to get to Carrickfergus from Belfast. You can take a Line 2 Train from Belfast Lanyon Palace to Downshire and walk for approximately 9 minutes to reach the castle. You can also take a bus from Duncairn Yorkgate Station to Carrickfergus 14-22 Larne Road and walk for 8 minutes to reach the castle. You may also take a taxi or drive from Belfast to Carrickfergus which will cost you barely 15 minutes.

Have you visited this castle before? If yes, why not share some beautiful pictures with us!
You can email us your pictures of the castle at castrumtocastle@gmail.com. Please use the name of the castle in the subject line.

Also, don’t forget to mention your name and social media profile link if you want the credits!

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He is a versatile E-Learning Support Officer and former Academic Officer at the University of York, United Kingdom. Not just an expert in education and technology, Debayan also has a deep love for castles and mountains. With a passion for travel, having explored 168+ cities worldwide, and a keen eye for photography, He brings a unique blend of experiences to the table. Specializing in E-learning content, IT support, AR development, and software engineering, Debayan has made a significant impact, educating over 200,000 students on Udemy.

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