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Dunluce Castle.

Belfast Castle
Carrickfergus Castle
Dunsany Castle
Dunseverick Castle

Dunluce Castle Co Antrim.

Dunluce Castle is built on a 100 ft high basalt stack with a sea cave beneath, the cave is accessible by sea and land.

The first propriotars of the castle may have been the O'Flinns as early as 668 AD Richard de Burgo (Burke) The Red Earl of Ulster occupied it for a time. The castle fell into the hands of the MacQuillen's, probably after the murder of William de Burgh the "Brown earl" in 1333. In the 16th century Sorly Boy MacDonnell captured Dunluce Castle from the MacQuillans.

Dunluce castle has been extended at different times in history including the addition of a 17th Century Scottish style gatehouse. It remained in MacDonnell hands except for a short period in 1584 when it was taken by the English under Sir John Perrott, Sorly boy regained it cunningly, one of his men who was working in the castle hauled some of his men up the walls in a basket and they overcame the garrison and took control again.

On the 26th October 1588 during a storm one of the ships of the defeated Spanish Armada the Gerona was on passage from Killybegs in Donegal to Scotland, when it was wrecked near Dunluce Castle at a place which came to be known as 'Port na Spaniagh'. It is thought that upwards of 1,200 men lost their lives and only five survived.

The MacDonalds salvaged some of the treasure from the wreck using the proceeds to repair the castle. The wreck lay undisturbed on the sea bed until 1967 when a dive team led by Robert Stenuit over a period of two years recovered many articles from it, these can be seen in the Ulster Museum Belfast.

An unfortunate incident took place in 1639 at Dunluce Castle, the lady of the house at the time the Duchess of Buckingham, wife to the 2nd Earl of Antrim was having a dinner party. The meal consisted of fifteen courses and had taken upwards of four hours, towards the end of the meal a servant informed the Duchess that half the kitchen had fallen into the sea, taking nine cooks and servants to their deaths.

Dunluce stands near the Giants Causeway and some of the stone used in its construction came from the causeway.

Dunluce Castle.

Giants Causeway.

Go to other castles in County Antrim.

Dunluce Castle from Sketches of Olden Days in Northern Ireland by Rev. Hugh Forde