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Carra Castle
 

County

Antrim

Coordinates

N 55° 07' 57.4"   W 006° 02' 29.7"

Nearest town

Cushendun

Grid Ref.

D 24962 33465

Map No.

5

Elevation a.s.l. (m)

18

Date of visit

Sunday 24 May 2009

GPS Accuracy (m)

7
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The castle seen from the road. There isn't much to see.


The castle is less than 200 metres far from the Ballycleagh stone row.
The date of construction of the castle is unknown, but what is known is that for a certain period it was owned by the Irish chief Shane O'Neill who imprisoned the chieftain Sorley Boy MacDonnell here in 1565.
The MacDonnell and O'Neill clans were enemies, but two years after the imprisonment of Sorley Boy MacDonnell, both clans held a feast at the castle, during which someone from the MacDonnell clan stabbed Shane O'Neill to death to avenge the past defeat. The head of Shane O'Neill was sent to a representative of Queen Elizabeth in Dublin so that it could be publically displayed.
In 1585 the castle was besieged by the English, but Sorley Boy MacDonnell, now in his eighties, came from Scotland to help his son Donnell Gorm MacDonnell defying the enemies.
In the course of its history the site lived three periods.
It was used as a flint source and working place during the Stone Age, then a castle was built here around 16th century, and when the castle was abandoned the place was used as a burial place for unbaptised babies and children.

UPDATE: June 6th, 2011 - We visited this castle again and took new photographs. All the photos of this page but the first one are from this last visit, when we had the unexpected company of two llamas.
The castle has no doorways. The most intact wall is at northeast (70°), where two windows are still visible. Major damages are on the opposite wall that is almost completely missing along with part of the north wall.


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