Only crumbling stone ruins, the Dunluce Castle remains today to remind us of the once mighty fortress built along the coast of Northern Ireland. Dunluce Castle was built on top of a rocky promontory, which remains under the sole maritime rampant pigweed.
Ruins of the current Dunluce Castle were built on a place completely surrounded by rocky shores. There once was an Irish military fort, whose history can be traced back to Viking times. Since then, this seaside Cape has always been a fortress.
Current Dunluce Castle was built in the late Middle Ages, in the 17th century. Before that, the first fortress was built in the 13th century. The first documented evidence of Dunluce Castle was at the time of the MacQuillin family in 1513.
The earliest remains of the castle today are two large round towers, which reach about 9 feet in diameter and are located on the east side. There are still remnants of the fortress built by the McQuillans family as once they became the masters of the field.
Most of the Dunluce Castle or more of the ruins that remain today were built by Sorley Boy McDonnell - 1505-1589, and his descendants - the first and second Earl of Antrim.
In 1584 Queen Elizabeth ordered Sir John Perrott to storm the castle. After a hard battle Sorley Boy McDonnell soon returned to his property. Repairing the damage caused by the siege in 1584 probably was still in progress when Sorley Boy died in 1589.
Once, there was no village around Dunluce Castle as it was totally burned, probably in 1641. Evidence for this is within the preserved archaeological remains, including a cemetery.
Close to Dunluce Castle are the ruins of the ancient Church St. Cuthbert's. This place had witnessed a great tragedy in 1857 when a ship from Quebec crashed into the rocks and destroyed the lives of 240 people.
Today the Dunluce Castle has become an attractive tourist destination. Visits are possible throughout the year and may be requested in advance. There is also a built in visitor center, which organizes tours of the ruins.
Dunluce Castle was the natural scenery of several popular films, including - The Medallion from 2001.
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