Dunseverick Castle Ruins

Dunseverick, United Kingdom

Dunseverick Castle is located on the peninsula near the small village of Dunseverick and the Giant's Causeway.

Saint Patrick is recorded as having visited Dunseverick castle in the 5th century AD, where he baptized Olcán, a local man who later became a Bishop of Ireland. The original stone fort that occupied the position was attacked by Viking raiders in 870 AD.

In the later part of the 6th century AD, this was the seat of Fergus Mor MacEirc (Fergus the Great). Fergus was King of Dalriada and great-uncle of the High King of Ireland, Muirceartaigh (Murtagh) MacEirc. It is the 500 AD departure point from Ireland of the Lia Fail or coronation stone. Murtagh loaned it to Fergus for the latter's coronation in western Scotland part of which Fergus had settled as his sea-kingdom expanded.

The O'Cahan family held it from circa 1000 AD to circa 1320 AD, then regained it in the mid-16th century. Last one to have the castle was Giolla Dubh Ó Catháin, who left it in 1657 to settle in the Craig/Lisbellanagroagh area. Post 1660 they use the anglicised name McCain/O'Kane.

The castle was captured and destroyed by General Robert Munro in 1642 and his Cromwellian troops in the 1650s, and today only the ruins of the gatelodge remain. A small residential tower survived until 1978 when it eventually surrendered to the sea below.

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Details

Founded: 6th century AD
Category: Castles and fortifications in United Kingdom

Rating

4.2/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Barbara O'hagan (16 months ago)
A beautiful place and location. Car parking available. I will definitely be back to further explore the coastal walk.
Rashmi Mathur (16 months ago)
Place close to Giant Causeway, we went there accidentally again. Mesmerizing view of ocean. Feel like being there was hours.
Rachel Runswick (17 months ago)
Such a gorgeous area two inlets and in the centre a ruined castle on the top of the hill in the centre. Totally free and picturesque area a steep walk up and down but so nice as not flocked by people and naturally beautiful. Access by steps so not accessible by wheelchairs, limited parking at viewpoint, picnic benches for lunch and accessed at your own risk as there is marshland, hidden rocks in grasslands and unguarded cliff and steep areas.
Edward Roberts (17 months ago)
Lacking information about the majestic ruins. It does double up as a fantastic spot to park and walk to the giants causeway. This takes about 2hours give or take. Just along travelling east from the castle is a quaint little waterfall, that's maybe 10 minutes from the car park. Car park itself has a large picnic area. The views of this ruine is an idyllic spot to enjoy the Irish countryside at it best.
Abi Makovsky (18 months ago)
Lovely place to pull over and enjoy a bit of irish countryside. There is no information regarding the castle but the view and mystery is enjoyable. We loved getting to take some great pictures and if you're interested in hiking you can take a walk all the way down to the shore or up to the ruins.
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The castle dates essentially from the 15th century. It takes the form of a three-storey tower house. This formed the residence of the clan chief. An associated curtain wall fringed the small rock on which the castle stood, and enclosed a small courtyard in which there are ancillary buildings. These comprised a feasting hall, a chapel, a tanist’s house and a watchman’s house. Most were restored in the 20th century, the tanist’s house serving as the family home of the Macneils. A well near the postern gate is fed with fresh water from an underground seam. Outside the curtain wall, beside the original landing-place, are the foundations of the crew house, where the sailors manning their chief’s galley had their quarters.