The ruins of Dunluce Castle, built during Medieval times, lie dramatically along the clifftops of Ireland’s north coast.
The original castle was built by the MacQuillan clan in the early 1500s but taken over by Sorley Boy McDonnell and his clan after a battle with the MacQuillans in the mid-1500s. The McDonnells enjoyed good fortune when the Girona, a Spanish Armada ship, was shipwrecked on the rocks below. Two of the ship’s cannons were pulled out and placed in the castle’s grounds.
By the 17th century, Dunluce was the seat of the earls of County Antrim and saw the establishment of a small town within its grounds in 1608. Remains of the town can still be seen within the grounds of Dunluce after they were discovered in 2011. The 17th-century castle was built by Richard de Burgh, second Earl of Ulster, on a site that was once occupied by the Vikings. The earliest features of the castle are two large drum towers about nine metres (30 ft) in diameter on the eastern side, both relics of a stronghold built here by the MacQuillans during their reign over the area.
The earliest features of the castle are two large drum towers on what would have been the eastern side, both built by the MacQuillans during their reign over the area.
Dunluce is accessible throughout most of the year with guided tours available, as well as pre-booked tours out of season. A visitor centre, car parking and tea shop are all located on site.