Dunluce Castle

Name Dunluce Castle County Antrim Nearest Town Portrush Access Road A2 About

Dunluce Castle, literally translated as the Hill fort of the fairy fort is one of the most extensive ruins of a medieval castle in Northern Ireland. It is located on the edge of a basalt outcropping on the coast of County Antrim and is accessible via a bridge connecting it to the mainland. It is situated between the towns of Portballintrea and Portrush. The castle is dramatically surrounded by terrifyingly steep drops either side, which would have been a very important factor to the early Christians and Vikings who were not drawn to this place where an early Irish fort once stood.

In the 1200s Richard de Burgh, Earl of Ulster, built the first castle at Dunluce.

It is first documented in the hands of the MacQuillin family in 1513. 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 MacQuillins after they became lords of the district, the chieftan of which was known as Lord of the Route, in the late fourteenth century. 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. It is now in the care of the Northern Ireland Environment Agency and is now a protected monument.