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Castles and Historic Buildings of Scotland, England, Wales and Ireland

 Castles of Northern Ireland - Dunluce Castle

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near Bushmills, County Antrim, Northern Ireland

Dunluce Castle balances of the edge of a rocky outcrop on headland overlooking the North Channel. Access to the castle is via a bridge which connects it to the mainland near Portrush.

The medieval castle is now in a totally ruined state but still has partial remains of its round corner towers and outer wall.

The castle is part of a site which includes a Visitor Centre, shop, ruins of the town; burnt down by fire in 1641 and gardens. Guided tours are offered between Easter and September between 10am and 6pm and October to Easter until 4pm daily.

Dunluce Castle was built in the 1200's by the 2nd Earl of Ulster, Richard de Burgh, on the site of an earlier fort dating back to the Vikings.

In 1513 the castle was occupied by the MacQuillian family also known as Lord's of the Route and later it passed to the MacDonnell clan. It was Somerled MacDonnell who improved the castle in a Scottish style in 1584 and when a ship from the Spanish Armada was wrecked on the rocks below the castle four years later, the MacDonnell's sold the cargo and installed the cannon in the castle's gatehouse.

The castle remained with the Mac Donnell's until the end of the Battle of the Boyne in 1690 when it was left abandoned and fell into ruins.

The Arts
The castle has been used as the setting for the villains' lair in the film 'The Medallion' with Jackie Chan in 2001. The castle appeared in the artwork of the inner gatefold of the 1973 Led Zeppelin album Houses of the Holy.

Legend has it that out of all the kitchen staff only one boy survived an incident when a large part of the castle's kitchen collapsed into the sea.

Other Castles in the Area
  Greencastle, County Donegal
  Northburgh Castle, County Donegal
  Dunseverick Castle, County Antrim
  Kinbane Castle, County Antrim

Kinbane Castle
Dunluce Castle perched on the cliffs at Portrush

Photograph by Kenneth Allen. Some rights reserved.  (view image details)

Kinbane Castle
Dunluce Castle, near Portrush

Photograph by Rogere. Some rights reserved.  (view image details)

Kinbane Castle
Dunluce Castle stands on a rock accessible only over the footbridge

Photograph by Anne Burgess. Some rights reserved.  (view image details)

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