Dunluce Castle

Dunluce Castle is located on the edge of a basalt outcropping in County Antrim (between Portballintrae and Portrush) and is accessible via a bridge connecting it to the mainland. The ruins as they stand today are an eerie reminder of the history Dunluce has since building began in the early 1300s.

Like many castles on the coast of Northern Ireland, Dunluce is surrounded by extreme drops on either side, probably strategically placed with an air of defence in mind. Dunluce has been conquered by both Christians and Vikings who have both left their mark on the ruins.

According to local legend, the once kitchen area of the castle collapsed into the sea with only a young boy surviving. The owner at the time then refused to live in the castle, and it was later abandoned in the early 1800s.

 

Interesting Facts

 

  • Dunluce also boasts a waterfall to the west, which few visitors have seen recently.
  • It is reputed to be the inspiration behind the royal castle of Cair Paravel in Ulster-born writer CS Lewis’s Narnia stories.
  • The castle appeared on the artwork of Led Zeppelin’s 1973 LP Houses Of The Holy.
  • The castle was once owned by Winston Churchill (below). It passed into the ownership of the Churchill family as a result of inter-marriage.
  • The castle is perched high on sheer basalt cliffs and approached by a bridge. The spectacular Mermaid’s Cave is a vast cavern 25 metres below the castle.
  • Maeve Roe, the only daughter of Lord McQuillan of Dunluce, was imprisoned in the north-eastern tower by her father after refusing to take Rory Og as her husband. On a wild and stormy night, she and her true love, Reginald O’Cahan, fled to the Mermaid’s Cave Mills operated in Dunluce in the 13th century. Beneath the castle and set off by rowing boat but were dashed against cliffs. Maeve’s ghost still sweeps her prison tower.
  • Mills operated in Dunluce in the 13th century.
  • No-one knows what the original name means. ‘Dunluce’ translates as ‘fort of the fort’, but the meaning of the earlier name ‘Dunliphis’ is a mystery.

According to local legend, the once kitchen area of the castle collapsed into the sea with only a young boy surviving. The owner at the time then refused to live in the castle, and it was later abandoned in the early 1800s.

Whats Nearby?

 

  • The Giants Causeway
  • Carrick-a-Rede
  • Bushmills Distillery
Vehicle Recommendations