|Location||Larne, County Antrim, Northern Ireland (Google Maps)|
|Open for Visitors||Yes|
|Owned By||Ancient Monuments Division|
Olderfleet Castle is a state care historical monument in the Curran and Drumaliss townland. It was originally built in 1250 as Coraine Castle, and then in the 1600s, it was reconstructed as Olderfleet Castle. Unfortunately, the castle was ruined due to disrepair and multiple structural collapses after years; however, you can still experience the castle’s structure.
History of Olderfleet Castle
Olderfleet Castle was originally built by the Scoto-Irish Bissett family of Glenarm around 1250. Some people suggest it took about 300 years by Vikings, also known as Larne Lough, to build the castle. Although it was earlier used as Curran Castle, and a tower house was built in the 16th century on the location, the 1610 map shows it as Coraine Castle.
In 1315, Edward Bruce landed on Olderfleet Castle with a 6000 strong army to conquer Ireland and was welcomed by Bissetts. However, this was not approved by the crown and was seized by Queen Elizabeth I for guarding it against another Scottish Invasion. In 1569, Sir Moyses Hill was appointed as the governor of the castle. In 1597, the castle was claimed by MacDonnells, and a year later, it was dismantled.
In 1621, Olderfleet castle was granted to Sir Arthur Chichester and remained with the family till 1823, when William Agnew obtained the permanent lease for the location. Unfortunately, the castle lost its beauty and got ruined over the years because it was not taken care of. Finally, in 1938, Olderfleet Castle was handed to the Ancient Monuments Division (EHSNI), and they are the present owner of it.
Olderfleet Castle is located at the end of Curran Promontory. Sir Arthur Chichester built the castle to replace Coraine Castle in 1610. Today, the castle has been extremely ruined, but visitors can come and explore the castle. The castle walls can be easily seen to check the thickness. They were less than 1m thick, which doesn’t serve the military strongpoint and shows that it was built as a fortified warehouse and watchtower.
Most of the walls of Olderfleet castle are missing, but you can still have a look at its unique stone doorway base. In addition, you will notice several internal walls on the ground floor. The building may have been 3-4 storied, but the sign of a barrel vault is hard to find. Additionally, you can notice some pairs of narrow recessed windows without any clue for domestic features. You can visit the location and experience the history of Larne.
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