Belfast Castle is set on the slopes of Cavehill Country Park, providing views over the city of Belfast and Belfast Lough. The original castle, built in the late 12th century by the Normans, was located in the town itself, flanked by the modern day High Street, Castle Place and Donegall Place in what is now Belfast city centre. This was the home of The 1st Baron Chichester (better known as Sir Arthur Chichester), but was burned down in 1708, leaving only street names to mark the site. Rather than rebuild on the original site, the Chichesters decided to build a new residence in the city's suburbs, today's Belfast Castle emerging as a result. The building that stands today was built between 1811 and 1870 by the 3rd Marquess of Donegall. It was designed in the Scottish baronial style by Charles Lanyon and his son, of the architectural firm Lanyon, Lynn and Lanyon. After Lord Donegall's death and the family's financial demise, the 8th Earl of Shaftesbury completed the house.

It was his son, the 9th Earl of Shaftesbury, who presented the castle to the City of Belfast in 1934. In 1978, the Belfast City Council began a major refurbishment over a period of ten years at a cost of over two million pounds. The architect was the Hewitt and Haslam Partnership. The building officially re-opened to the public in 1988.

The castle boasts an antiques shop, a restaurant and visitors centre and it is a popular venue for conferences, private dining and wedding receptions.

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Founded: 1811-1870
Category: Castles and fortifications in United Kingdom

More Information

en.wikipedia.org

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User Reviews

phxquilt (2 years ago)
Beautiful! Gardens lovely. Great views. Wedding going on the day we visited so we didnt get to see anything inside. Small public loos. Elevator avail.
PH (2 years ago)
I went for a walk up Cave hill but unfortunately the view wasn't great due to the grey rainy weather. You can see for miles on a clear day. There are a few paths through the woods which will take you to the top. A reasonable level of fitness is required as parts are very steep. You can grab a drink, coffee or lunch in Belfast Castle when you get back down. There are several car parks on the road through the park and public toilets at the castle.
Judit Németh (2 years ago)
A nice castle, free to visit, having long opening hours and a nice cafe /restaurant in the basement, with a lovely garden as well, however that's it really. Nice views, a good hiking trail around, but the castle itself is now, in my impression and understanding is mainly for hosting events and catering. It is nice but originally was hoping for some history when planned our visit there.
richard grant (2 years ago)
Beautiful building in a lovely setting looking over the Belfast harbour . Inside there is a small curio shop and a small bar they seem basic food. On the hill you can take a walk to the top of gave hill. If you can manage it the view is amazing but it's not an easy walk if you are not quite fit and healthy.
Roushalsinav M.R (2 years ago)
This is actually a restaurant and not a museum. Good place.. Nice people. A great view of city from here. I really like the garden in front of it. Behind the castle there is a good place to do the trucking and nice place to layer the land.
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Kirkjubøargarður ('Yard of Kirkjubøur', also known as King"s Farm) is one of the oldest still inhabited wooden houses of the world. The farm itself has always been the largest in the Faroe Islands. The old farmhouse dates back to the 11th century. It was the episcopal residence and seminary of the Diocese of the Faroe Islands, from about 1100. Sverre I of Norway (1151–1202), grew up here and went to the priest school. The legend says, that the wood for the block houses came as driftwood from Norway and was accurately bundled and numbered, just for being set up. Note, that there is no forest in the Faroes and wood is a very valuable material. Many such wood legends are thus to be found in Faroese history.

The oldest part is a so-called roykstova (reek parlour, or smoke room). Perhaps it was moved one day, because it does not fit to its foundation. Another ancient room is the loftstovan (loft room). It is supposed that Bishop Erlendur wrote the 'Sheep Letter' here in 1298. This is the earliest document of the Faroes we know today. It is the statute concerning sheep breeding on the Faroes. Today the room is the farm"s library. The stórastovan (large room) is from a much later date, being built in 1772.

Though the farmhouse is a museum, the 17th generation of the Patursson Family, which has occupied it since 1550, is still living here. Shortly after the Reformation in the Faroe Islands in 1538, all the real estate of the Catholic Church was seized by the King of Denmark. This was about half of the land in the Faroes, and since then called King"s Land (kongsjørð). The largest piece of King"s Land was the farm in Kirkjubøur due to the above-mentioned Episcopal residence. This land is today owned by the Faroese government, and the Paturssons are tenants from generation to generation. It is always the oldest son, who becomes King"s Farmer, and in contrast to the privately owned land, the King"s Land is never divided between the sons.

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