Carrickfergus Castle

Carrickfergus Castle


Location: Carrickfergus, Antrim County Map

Constructed: 1177 by John de Courcy

Tel. 028 9335 1273

Open: daily

Closed: Sunday am, 24- 26 Dec


Description of Carrickfergus Castle

Carrickfergus Castle (from the Irish Carraig Ḟergus or "cairn of Fergus", the name "Fergus" meaning "strong man") is a Norman Irish castle in Northern Ireland, situated in the town of Carrickfergus in County Antrim, on the northern shore of Belfast Lough. Besieged by Scots, Irish, English and French, the castle played an important military role until 1928 and is one of the best-preserved medieval structures in all of Ireland. Today, the castle is maintained by the Environment and Heritage Service as a historical monument of the State. Today it is maintained by the Northern Ireland Environment Agency as a state care historic monument.


The Castle of Carrickfergus was built by John de Courcy in 1177 to serve as his headquarters, after conquering the eastern part of Ulster and ruling as an insignificant king until 1204, when he was dismissed by another Norman adventurer named Hugo de Lacy. Initially John de Courcy built the interior room as a small bailey at the end of a promontory with a high polygonal wall and a door on the east. This one had a series of buildings, including the "great hall". From a strategic position on a rocky promontory, originally almost surrounded by the sea, the castle dominated Belfast Lough.