Dunluce Castle is a ruined medieval castle located on the edge of a basalt outcropping in County Antrim, and is accessible via a bridge connecting it to the mainland. The castle is surrounded by extremely steep drops on either side, which may have been an important factor to the early Christians and Vikings who were drawn to this place where an early Irish fort once stood.

In the 13th century, Richard Óg de Burgh, 2nd Earl of Ulster, built the first castle at Dunluce. The earliest features of the castle are two large drum towers about 9 metres in diameter on the eastern side, both relics of a stronghold built here by the McQuillans after they became lords of the Route.

The McQuillans were the Lords of Route from the late 13th century until they were displaced by the MacDonnell after losing two major battles against them during the mid- and late-16th century.

Later Dunluce Castle became the home of the chief of the Clan MacDonnell of Antrim and the Clan MacDonald of Dunnyveg from Scotland.

In 1588 the Girona, a galleass from the Spanish Armada, was wrecked in a storm on the rocks nearby. The cannons from the ship were installed in the gatehouses and the rest of the cargo sold, the funds being used to restore the castle.

Dunluce Castle served as the seat of the Earl of Antrim until the impoverishment of the MacDonnells in 1690, following the Battle of the Boyne. Since that time, the castle has deteriorated and parts were scavenged to serve as materials for nearby buildings.

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Founded: 13th century
Category: Castles and fortifications in United Kingdom

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User Reviews

Dave Flaherty (19 months ago)
Worth a visit, do the guided tour, no extra cost but lots of info. Our guide was Hazel who was witty and informative
Anton Göransson (19 months ago)
This castle is really cool and the nature around it is very nice as well. We never actually went in to the castle as their is a fee to doing so and unfortunately the walking path was closed for reparations. Most of the castle is still standing and its position is quite unique which makes it a very nice experience visiting here
Olivier Roy (19 months ago)
One of the nicest castle of Ireland! Really great, they have a video explaining the history of the caste for the construction to now. They also have photos of what it looked like back then and it is very nice to see!
Rachel Runswick (20 months ago)
Didn't get a chance to go in to the paying part as we were pushed for time but what we saw (for free) was stunning. I love history so I would like to go back someday and do the tour! Good bit to see and have to cross a bridge in between both lands which is cool.
Cheryl Evans (20 months ago)
Stopped here on our trip to Ireland. It was a beautiful day and we really enjoyed being able to walk through this amazing piece of history! Definitely worth a stop!
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