Kilkenny Castle: A Regal Encounter with History
- Ireland's Ancient East, Kilkenny, Things to do
- 22 March 2023
Carlingford Castle stands as a testament to the strength and resilience of the Irish people. Built by the Norman baron Hugh de Lacy in the 12th century, the castle has been a symbol of power and defense for the region for centuries. Nestled in the southern shores of Carlingford Lough in County Louth, this stunning historical landmark offers breathtaking views of the lough harbor and the majestic Mourne Mountains.
Legend has it that King John himself stayed at the castle for three days in 1210 AD, which was later famously known as King John's Castle. Throughout the centuries, Carlingford Castle has witnessed many significant events, including the Jacobite uprising and the Battle of the Boyne. Today, visitors can explore the rich history of the castle through guided tours offered by the Carlingford Lough Heritage Trust, from March to October.
The original castle consisted of an enclosed courtyard with two rectangular towers at the entrance and two-story buildings within. The eastern half of the castle was added in 1261 AD and included a number of rooms and probably a great hall. Over the centuries, there were several alterations and additions made to the castle. The tower house was constructed in two phases, with the older portion completed in the early 16th century. The annex was most likely built around 50 years later to provide more living accommodation and was owned by the Earl of Carlingford, Nicholas Taaffe.
Carlingford Castle appears to have remained in English hands during the post-medieval period, and Hugh O'Neill, Earl of Tyrone, attempted a surprise attack in 1596 to take control of the castle. The fortress changed hands several times over the following centuries and functioned as a hospital during the period leading up to the Battle of the Boyne.
Don't miss the opportunity to visit this formidable fortress and see an authentic piece of Irish history. Advance booking is recommended for groups of 10 or more to ensure a truly unforgettable experience. Immerse yourself in the timeless beauty and history of Carlingford Castle, and discover why it is a must-see destination for history enthusiasts and visitors to the area alike.