Featured image of Castle Ward

The History of Castle Ward

LocationStrangford, County Down, Northern Ireland (Google Maps)
Open for VisitorsYes
Owned byNational Trust
Official WebsiteCastle Ward
Rooms AvailableNo

Located in the village of Strangford in County Down, North Ireland, Castle Ward overlooks the Strangford Lough. The castle was built in the 18th century for The 1st Viscount of Bangor and is currently owned by the National Trust.


Originally known as Carrick na Sheannagh, the castle was owned by the Earls of Kildare. Later it was bought by Bernard Ward, father of Sir Robert Ward, Surveyor-General of Ireland. Castle Ward has been the home of the Ward family since ca. 1570. Not only this, but the Ward family also built a number of other homes for them in their estate; a few of them were the old castle ward and a mansion built by Judge Micheal Ward. Although the latter one couldn’t survive and was demolished in 1850, the former still survives as the old Castle ward.

The current castle that we see was built for Bernard Ward, 1st Viscount Bangor, in the early 1760s. Although the architect is unknown, there is a possibility for James Bridges, a Bristol-based architect, to be the creator of this wonderful piece of art. Castle Ward remained in possession of the Ward family until the death of the 6th Viscount in 1950, after which it was given to the National Trust in 1952.


What makes the castle unique is that it was made using a combination of two different styles of architecture since Bernard and his wife Ann had two different tastes. Bernard advocated for the classical Palladian Style, and Ann favoured the elaborate Gothic style. Both these styles were implemented in the castle through stonework and interior design. This is the reason why the castle has a lot of intricate details. On one side, the castle has a simple classical decoration, and the other side is detailed by ornate panellings and ceilings. The castle surroundings also include an 18th century Temple Water and 19th Century Windsor Garden.

Two hidden gems of the castle are the Temple Water and A Victorian Garden. The Temple Garden is a man-made landscape that was created by the Ward family. The Temple Water Canal covers two hectares of land and provides a source of water for the mills. The canal is a very important 17th 18th-century garden yet to be surviving in Ireland. Coming to the Victorian Garden, also known as the Windsor Garden and now as the Sunken Garden, it has been restored in its original victorian garden style.  Over the passage of centuries, the styling of the garden has changed impressively, beds have been replaced with rolling lawns and a colossal statue of Neptune has been assembled in the garden.

Movie Features

Game of Thrones (2011–2019) Created by David Benioff, the most popular HBO TV Series, Game of Thrones, has been shot at Castle Ward. The historic farmyard stood in for parts of Winterfell, including the archery range where the Stark children practised their skills.

Your Highness (2011)Directed by David Gordon Green, the movie revolves around the kidnap of Prince Fabious’s bride and has shot its scenes in Ward Castle.

Project A drama series where Lana and Morgan want to run away, and the story revolves around their struggle.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How much does it cost to get into Castle Ward?

The castle is open to visitors and does not cost much. Basically, for Adults, it costs £10.00 a ticket, Children- £5.00 and Family- £25.00. Not just this, but you can also directly book your discounted online ticket for the Castle Ward, if available.

  • Where is Castle Ward from Game of Thrones?

Winterfell and Demense are located 40 minutes away from Belfast and were extensively used for the filming of George RR Martin’s epic adaption of Game of Thrones novels, the popular HBO TV Series.

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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