A two-storey Kinbane castle was built in 1547 by Colla MacDonnell, brother of Sorley Boy MacDonnell, with a large courtyard with traces of other buildings, probably constructed out of wood. In 1551 the castle was besieged by English forces under Lord Deputy, Sir James Croft, in the course of an expedition against the MacDonnell's. Another siege in 1555 by English forces, the castle was partly destroyed by cannon fire. Rebuilt afterwards, Colla MacDonnell died at the castle in 1558.

The hollow below the castle known as Lag na Sassenach (Hollow of the English) and it was allegedly during the 16th century that a garrison of English soldiers laying siege to the castle were surrounded and massacred. Fires lit on the headland as calls for assistance were answered by clansmen who came from all directions and surrounded the garrison.

Sorley Boy MacDonnell exchanged the castle with another property at Colonsay with Gillaspick MacDonnell, son of Colla MacDonnell. The castle was then presented to the Owen MacIan Dubh MacAllister, 2nd of Loup, Chief of Clan MacAlister as a reward for their service and loyalty to the MacDonnell clan. Owen MacIan Dubh MacAllister was killed in 1571 during a skirmish with the Carrickfergus garrison, fighting alongside Sorley Boy.

The castle remained in the descendants of the MacAllisters of Kenbane until the 18th century.

Not much of the castle remains, and the path up to it is narrow and stepped, but it offers a spectacular views of Rathlin Island and Dunagregor Iron Age fort.

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Founded: 1547
Category: Castles and fortifications in United Kingdom

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4.8/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Douglas Rankine (12 months ago)
Lovely to visit, small, free car park, clean toilets, nice walk and views of castle ruins, on a promontary, and surrounding countryside good for a picnic on a nice day. Lovely blue sea..
Yvonne Birrane (12 months ago)
Fabulous little place hidden away from the road. Lovely energetic walk when you get there. Good walking shoes required. Toilit facilities
Andrew Stothers (13 months ago)
Awesome place to visit on a good day, views are breathtaking with an unusual castle that has been there from the 18,00's not to far from a nice little restaurant just further up the road. Avoid this place if your not good with steep steps or uneven ground as its all of these.
Lynn McIntyre (13 months ago)
Great place to visit. I've been by land and by sea and recommend both ways. It's quite a hoof up those steps on the way back to the carpark if you're not super fit but there's plenty to explore and great photo opportunities. Lovely bit of history with information signs to read.
Ariel Shearer (13 months ago)
Highly recommend anyone with the opportunity to check this site out to do so. Great views, beautiful scenery and you almost have the place to yourself!
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