It was reported in the Laud Annals that of 30 Scots taken hostage during a parlay, 8 were killed and eaten, as the castle’s inhabitants became desperate for food. Carrickfergus Castle, Marine Highway, Carrickfergus, BT38 7BG. However, J Bell wrote in A Conjecture as to the Origin of the Name of Carrickfergus that the name is more likely to have come from the Irish Carraig na Fairge, meaning “Rock of the Sea”. It is possibly the oldest documented settlement in the area. Remarkably for a site right out in the sea, the rock has a freshwater spring well and de Courcy’s keep has the well at its centre. It was garrisoned continuously until 1928, when its ownership was transferred to the government for preservation as an ancient monument. Due to Carrick’s loss of importance as a commercial centre, the town turned to newer industries in the 1800s. After it had gone out of service, it did its final duty between 1939 and 1945 when its cellars were used as an air raid shelter. The outer wall had a wall walk which meant that soldiers could safely get to any part of the castle when it was under attack. De Courcy turned his attention to Carrickfergus, to the great rock that had captured his imagination on the way north. In 1760 it was captured by a French force. The castle is a Norman castle situated on the northern shore of Belfast Lough. The entrance was reached by a wooden stair on the next floor and leads into the earliest guardroom, which has windows so small that a man could not get through. Here, a number of crannogs were uncovered during draining of the lough in 1881, as well as several ancient structures and a wooden canoe – all though to be late-Neolithic in origin. Its long and extraordinary military history has fascinated for as long as it … In 1861, Paul Rodgers became foreman of the shipyard, and designed the ship Dorothea Wright, amongst others. Originally built by the Anglo-Norman nobleman John de Courcy, Carrickfergus Castle was modified repeatedly over the centuries as new weapons, tactics and threats brought fresh challenges to those defending the area. The Causeway Coast & Glens Heritage Trust welcome any donations. It is situated on the shore of Belfast Lough in the town of Carrickfergus, County Antrim.The castle was built by John de Courcy in 1177. In 1637 the town’s customs rights, which ran from Groomsport in County Down to Larne in County Antrim, were sold to Belfast. Dan Jones explores the history of Carrickfergus Castle in Co Antrim, one of the most ancient castles in Northern Ireland and a stronghold key to understanding the tempestuous relationship between Britain and Ireland. A local story recalls that Andrew Jackson was in fact born in Boneybefore and smuggled into America under his mother’s dress, therefore making his Presidency illegitimate – however, no evidence exists to authenticate this tale. From its strategic position on a rocky promontory, originally almost surrounded by sea, the castle commanded C… It is recorded in the Masonic Grand Lodge records that the warrant and jewels of Carrick’s Lodge 270 were confiscated by Thurot, who was himself a freemason. Also open to the public for fun days out, the impressive monument has canons from the 17th and 19th centuries on display, while the keep houses historical and other displays. After the O’Neills arrived in Carrickfergus, William de Burgh’s family seized his land, joined with the Irish and assumed Irish names and identities. It is the oldest town in County Antrim and one of the oldest in Northern Ireland. Not much is known about the area that would become Carrickfergus prior to the Anglo-Norman invasion of Ireland. As above, it is widely accepted that the name Carrickfergus comes from the legend of Fergus and his ill-fated voyage. The legend is disputed by many, but there is a significant amount of reliable references that at least partially authenticate the story. During the 1st World War it was a garrison and ordnance store and was given to the nation as a historic monument in 1928. Some years later in 1778, a small but significant event in the American War of Independence began at Carrickfergus, when John Paul Jones, in the face of reluctance by his crew to approach too close to the Castle, lured a Royal Navy vessel from its moorings into the North Channel, and won an hour-long battle. This was interpreted as an act of a sovereign ruler by King John of England, who believed de Courcy was forging a petty kingdom, and so in 1199 John dispatched the knight Hugh de Lacy to wage war on de Courcy. Carrickfergus Castle is Norman castle in Carrickfergus, County Antrim in Northern Ireland. The castle seen over 800 years of military occupation, the castle was besieged in turn by the Scots, Irish, English and French and it continued to play a central part in a military role until 1928, today it is maintained by the Northern Ireland Environment Agency. Later in 1862, the Carrickfergus and Larne Railway opened, along with Carrickfergus Railway Station. If you book with Tripadvisor, you can cancel up to 24 hours before your tour starts for a full refund. Visitors to the castle can avail of a self-guided tour of the walls or, on occasion, guided tours can be arranged by the Carrickfergus Historical Society. This is more than likely the true origin of the name “Carrickfergus”. In September 1648, a large section of Munro’s men betrayed him, and so the castle was delivered to Monck, who had Munro arrested and sent to the Tower of London, where he remained for some five years. During the reign of Elizabeth I, the town was normally referred to as “Cragfergus” or “Knockfergus”. A shaft gave access to a well below and a mural stair led down to the vaulted storage cellar. A tour of Carrickfergus Castle, Northern Ireland. Besieged in turn by the Scots, Irish, English and French, the Castle saw action right up to World War II. Belfast Lough itself was known as “Carrickfergus Bay” until well into the 17th century, after which Belfast overtook the town as the prominent power and regional capital. In 1688, despite the local peoples’ sympathies for the Williamite cause, the castle and town were captured and held by the Jacobite forces of James II, as he fled to Ireland in an attempt to hold the crown. de Lacy crusaded in France for some years after his expulsion, but returned in 1224 and attempted to siege Carrickfergus unsuccessfully. MacDonnell’s losses were comparatively few. The Causeway Coast & Glens Heritage Trust is a charity devoted to protecting and enhancing the unique heritage of the Causeway Coast and Glens area. A tour of Carrickfergus Castle, Northern Ireland. Ireland had not had a High King since Ruaidhrí Ua Conchobhair was deposed at the beginning of the Norman Invasion. He heard of a holy well on a rock in the sea where the water might cure him. In about 1560 alterations were made to the two round gate towers for the new fangled artillery and after that the next stories come from the turbulent 1600s. Irish Catholic gentry slowly recruited and mobilised the army in Carrickfergus, in return for concession of Irish Catholics’ longstanding requests for religious tolerance and land security. His armour is still displayed in the Tower of London. During a heavy storm, it is said that Fergus’s ship was wrecked on a volcanic dyke by the lough shore, which became loosely known as “Carraig Fhearghais” – the Rock of Fergus – providing the area with a new name. Kilroot is thought to have operated with both a bishop and abbot during the Early Christian period, before being amalgamated into the diocese of Connor some time before the year 1100. The names of these suburbs are reflected in several modern day street names in Carrickfergus, and the locations of the suburbs are still apparent. And so they came at him upon the sudden, and he had no shift to make but with the cross pole, and defended him until it was broken and slew thirteen of them before he was taken. Chichester and MacDonnell had agreed to parley over a number of grievances raised by the Scots over military operations carried out in and around Scottish territories. As the castle grew, many wooden buildings sprang up to house the servants and soldiers. Barn Mills on Taylors Avenue was converted to manufacture parachutes during World War II and was purchased by the wool-spinning firm of Jeremiah Ambler in 1945, after the Northern Ireland government put forward a grant to try and boost post-war employment numbers. He is said to have returned to Ulster in search of an ancient healing well to cure his leprosy – this well could be the one which still exists underneath the castle keep or possibly what would become St Brigit’s (St Bride’s) Well which is located north of the town centre. It was in existence hundreds of years before the future capital city, was larger and more strategically and economically important than Belfast, and even comprised its own county. The MacDonnells flirted with the idea of siding fully with the English to crush the rebellion, an aspiration they had in common. ... We recommend booking Carrickfergus Castle tours ahead of time to secure your spot. Facts about Carrickfergus Castle 7: the statue of Carrickfergus Castle. He established his headquarters in Carrick and had begun construction of Carrickfergus Castle on top of the ‘rock of Fergus’ by the beginning of 1178, using stone ferried across Carrickfergus Bay from Cultra – this fine stonework can still be observed in the corners of the Great Keep. Similarly, United Irishmen founder Henry Joy McCracken was captured in 1798 in the outskirts of the town, while trying to escape to America during the Irish Rebellion. The town was put to the torch several more times in the following 150 years. It received another charter from Edward II in 1326 and two from Elizabeth I. The name, meaning “rock of Fergus,” commemorates King Fergus, who was shipwrecked off the coast about 320 ce. St Nicholas’ own website queries whether the church was granted to the Woodburn Abbey of the White Canons or the later Friary of the Franciscan monks located in the town proper. If you spot any mistakes or irregularities, please do contact us or leave a message on Facebook. This was primary factor for the decline of Carrickfergus as an important seaport in Ulster, in favour of the future capital city. A WeeTaste of Belfast History Tour of its Historic Pubs, Shops and Scenery. His small force was vastly superior to the Ulstermen and most of the Ulster coast was conquered in a few weeks. Carrickfergus Castle History For more than 800 years, Carrickfergus Castle has been an imposing monument on the Northern Ireland landscape whether approached by land, sea or air. There are also remnants of earlier layouts. During the early 1600s, the castle was updated to support artillery, including further modification for cannon. The most notable ship designed by Rodgers and built in 1893 is the Result, a Topsail Schooner which now resides in the Ulster Folk and Transport Museum in Cultra. For a century it remained a magazine and armory. During the 1641 rebellion and the English Civil War it was one of the main places of refuge for Protestants in Antrim and like Ballintoy Church, it was never taken. The establishment of St Nicholas’ Church followed in around 1182. de Courcy is also credited with the founding of the St Mary’s Premonstratensian Abbey in Woodburn (Woodburne Abbey), to which the parish of St Nicholas was granted. What say you? Due to the latest COVID-19 restrictions, Carrickfergus Castle is closed to the public until further notice. Bored with the life in Dublin castle, he decided to take an expedition North. It was later on this year that the Battle of Carrickfergus took place in the hills between Carrickfergus and Larne. A western suburb became known as the Irish Quarter and the eastern suburb, founded around 1665 by Scottish fishermen, became known as Scotch Quarter. Although his endeavour was cut short on the orders of Elizabeth I, he brought with him several people of local importance such as John Dalway, who would go on to serve as Carrickfergus mayor twice and later establish a “cattle empire” in the area. Bruce was defeated and killed by the forces of Sir John de Bermingham in 1318, after which the castle and town came back under the control of the crown (and at this point King Edward II). Shortly afterwards in the town, King of Tír Eóghain, Domhnall mac Briain Ó Néill met up with the Scots and swore fealty to Bruce and proclaimed him High King, however this proclamation was largely ignored by the more powerful Kings of Ireland. A memorial archway exists in Prospect (on Woodburn Road) to honour the Belgian troops who trained in the area dring the war. They relocated to a thatched cottage in Boneybefore a couple of years before emigrating to South Carolina in 1765. In 1845 Carrick also became a shipbuilding town, with the launch of the brigantine David Legg. Chichester asked his commander, Captain Merriman: Now, Captain, yonder be your old friends. He was captured and imprisoned in the Tower of London on the orders of King John, and his lands and titles were revoked. Dan travels to Rathlin island, where he reveals how hundreds of women and … $568.51 per adult. Carrickfergus Castle is an excellent example of a Norman castle in Northern Ireland. In 1797 the castle, which had on various occasions been used to house prisoners of war, became a prison and it was heavily defended during the Napoleonic Wars; six guns on the east battery remain of the 22 that were used in 1811. It is known that prisoners-of-war were imprisoned in Carrickfergus during World War II. The US Rangers Centre in nearby Boneybefore pays homage to this period in history. Carrickfergus castle was built by John de Courcy in 1177 as his headquarters, after he conquered eastern Ulster in 1177 and ruled as a petty king until 1204, when he … Eight women were charged with offences including tormenting the victim, Mary Dunbar, causing her to experience fits or seizures and finally causing her to vomit materials such as feathers and yarn. Carrickfergus far predates the Northern Irish capital of Belfast. It was in existence hundreds of years before the future capital city, was larger and more strategically and economically important than Belfast, and even comprised its own county. On the 2nd of April 1912 the residents of Carrickfergus turned out in their thousands to watch as the RMS Titanic made its first ever journey up the lough from its construction dock in Belfast. Features Carrickfergus Castle first appears in the official English records in 1210 when the notorious King John laid siege to and took control of Ulster’s premier strategic garrison. Its entry chamber, originally one large, poorly lit room with a double latrine and no fireplace, served as the public room. Initially de Courcy built the inner ward, a small bailey at the end of the promontory with a high polygonal curtain wall and east gate. It is believed that the castle is an ideal model of the Norman architecture style. The Carrickfergus Gas Company was formed in 1854 and quickly acquired premises for the Gasworks in the Irish Quarter. Not wanting to sail too close to the formidable castle, he lured Drake away from its mooring and challenged her to a fight some days later on 13th April in the North Channel, where he dealt a crushing defeat to the Royal Navy ship, capturing it and its crew. The 1790s also saw considerable support in Carrickfergus for the United Irishmen and similar movements. Although by 1400 most of eastern Ulster was firmly under the control of the O’Neills, a mutually advantageous arrangement existed between the crown and the Irish clans to keep the town and county of Carrickfergus under the effective control of the English. The fourth storey, a high, brightly lit room with windows in all four walls, a fireplace and single latrine, was the principal chamber. The present building was erected by De Courci about the year 1178. Of course he made sure that he matched the description exactly, for luck and to strike fear into anyone who knew the story. It is the largest Norman Castle in Northern Ireland. After the battle, it was recorded that MacDonnell was disappointed in Chichester’s “bad intentioun”, when the Scots never intended to fight and were in gentle spirit on the day. It in turn acted as a base for a notorious counter-attack and massacre of Catholics in Islandmagee. They were quickly returned by the Royal Navy’s Captain Elliot, after Thurot’s fleet was defeated just off the Isle of Man. ... History. Most notably in 1647, George Monck, 1st Duke of Albemarle laid siege to the castle. Of course the battlements at the top were used as the most fantastic lookout platform and to attack any who dared to approach with malice in mind. One of the four corner towers still partially survives, built into the back of the Town Hall. Elizabeth’s Irish Wars. The mill persevered through the introduction of mass manufacture of synthetic fibres and spun wool cloth and mohair until about 2002, when Ambler’s ceased operations. Niall O’Neill burned Carrickfergus to the ground in 1384. The MacDonnells ended their campaign as a result of the ascension of the Scottish King James to the English throne. Scottish General Robert Munro arrived in Ireland the same year to put down the Irish rebels and protect the protestant settlers. Chichester rode out to meet them, at the head of just five companies of foot and one company of horse. His remains were eventually interred at the Friary in 1443 – it unknown whether his remains were moved when the friary was demolished. Carrickfergus Castle is Norman castle in Carrickfergus, County Antrim in Northern Ireland. History of Carrickfergus. It was replaced in 1839-1840 by the Barn Mills, constructed by James Cowan who owned the previous factory and the nearby Barn Cottage (also known simply as “The Barn”), which was itself built in around 1790. Besieged in turn by the Scots, Irish, English and French, the castle played an important military role until 1928 and remains one of the best preserved medieval structures in Ireland. Carrick itself was known as Knockfergus during the Elizabethan era. They controlled the central part of Ulster, while the MacDonnells controlled the surrounding areas. He founded the Franciscan Friary in 1232, which stood where the modern Town Hall and Carrickfergus Library now stand. It is located 11 miles north-east of the Northern Irish capital of Belfast, and has a population of some 27,000+ people. His first defence was the Inner Ward on the southwest tip of the rock and a trench was cut into the rock around it. The castle surrendered in September 1316. The reports are certainly viable, as Sunnylands Camp was home to the commando training ground for the newly formed US Army Rangers. The Victorian tunnel, which leads from the harbour-side into the inner ward of the castle, was uncovered and used to move materials into the castle, and the external iron doors have now been replaced with gates, providing a view into the inner ward from outside. Proudly ranking as one of the best preserved medieval structures in Ireland, it is a popular destination for tourists worldwide wishing to delve deeper into its historical content. Carrickfergus Castle. Carrickfergus far predates the Northern Irish capital of Belfast. By this time the Highland Scots were settling in the northern parts of Antrim and, much like the Irish, were expanding into Anglo-Norman lands. Chichester’s head was allegedly cut off and used as a football by the MacDonnell troops. The castle played an important military role until 1928 and remains one of the best-preserved medieval structures in Ireland. He had been told there was a prophecy, that the conqueror of Ulster would one day appear as a white knight from a foreign land who would be riding a white horse and carry a shield with birds of prey on it. During the Seven Years’ War, in February 1760, Admiral Francois Thurot of the French Navy was carrying out smuggling and privateering activities around the Mull of Galloway and in the North Channel. Under John’s authority, the castle was further fortified by adding an exterior curtain wall – creating the middle ward of the castle – on the landward side, a task overseen by one of John’s appointed constables De Serlane. A WeeTaste of Belfast History Tour of its Historic Pubs, Shops and Scenery. Like all the best castles, it is haunted and a tragic tale of love and betrayal, ending in a miscarriage of justice lies behind the haunting. De Lacy fled the castle before the arrival of John, and the castle came under the control of a constable. When the wounded man was discovered, with his dying words he told that another soldier, Timothy Lavery had done the deed, because Lavery looked like Rainey and in the darkness and confusion, he had mistaken one man for the other. He began building the massive keep at the same time. In 2019 the Great Tower of Carrickfergus Castle had its aging roof replaced. His progress was swift, due to the far superior weaponry used by the Norman soldiers. Monastic activity is sparsely documented in the area, although mostly further afield in the Monkstown area. The castle seen over 800 years of military occupation, the castle was besieged in turn by the Scots, Irish, English and French and it continued to play a central part in a military role until 1928, today it is maintained by the Northern Ireland Environment Agency. The last building was the massive stone gatehouse, the strongest part of the castle because it defended the only part not surrounded by the sea. It was built in 1177 by John de Courcy. de Lacy was relieved of command in 1210, when King John himself arrived and placed the castle under royal authority after a 9 day siege. $568.32 per adult. An 1832 Ordinance Survey map shows a “cotton manufactory” on what is now Taylor’s Avenue, which may date back to around 1790. Carrickfergus Castle is a Norman castle in Northern Ireland, situated in the town of Carrickfergus in County Antrim, on the northern shore of Belfast Lough. Antrim Coast & Glens Area Of Outstanding Natural Beauty, Slideshow Photographs Credit Tourism Northern Ireland, Antrim Coast & Glens AONB Management Group, Heart of the Glens Landscape Partnership Scheme, https://antrimcoastandglensaonb.ccght.org/wp-content/uploads/sites/10/2016/08/Carrickfergus-Final-SD.mp4, View and Book Events in the CCGHT Events Calendar, Giant’s Causeway & Causeway Coast World Heritage Site. The account of his capture appears in the Book of Howth, and verifies de Courcy’s reputation as an incredibly powerful and god-fearing warrior: Sir Hugh de Lacy was commanded to do what he might to apprehend and take Sir John de Courcy, and so devised and conferred with certain of Sir John’s own men, how this might be done; and they said it were not possible to take him, since he lived ever in his armour, unless it were a Good Friday and they told that his custom was that on that day he would wear no shield, harness nor weapon, but would be in the church, kneeling at his prayers, after he had gone about the church five times bare-footed. He died in London in 1625 and was buried in St Nicholas Church in the town some months later. The new complex was specialised for flax-spinning, using techniques pioneered by the Mulhollands of Belfast. Syracuse, NY: Syracuse UP, 1997. The keep is 40 metres high and its walls are 4 metres thick. 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