Dunluce Castle




N 55° 12' 36.9"   W 006° 34' 45.48"

Nearest town


Grid Ref.

C 90420 41258

Map No.


Elevation a.s.l. (m)


Date of visit

Tuesday 30 June 2015

GPS Accuracy (m)

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The ward at the entrance of the castle, this is the section on the mainland. The building at the far left is the stables.

This castle first appeared in the written records in 1513. The MacQuillan family began its construction around 1500. An earlier castle was built in the same place in the 13th century by Richard Óg de Burgh, 2nd Earl of Ulster, also known as the Red Earl.
In the following yeras the castle wwas attacked and seized by several clans and changed hands many times.
The clans MacDonnell of Antrim and MacDonald of Dunnyveg from Scotland fought for decades over this castle and in 1586 the MacDonnells eventually got hold of the building. This happened under the guide of Sorley Boy MacDonnell, the same warrior who had a leading role in the history of Carra castle.
During the 16th and 17th centuries the architecture of the castle was remodeled many times.
The fortification is split in two parts, one on the mainland, the other on a promontory separated from the mainland by a deep ravine. A bridge joins the two sections. On the mainland is a large ward with utilities buildings and lodgings for guests on the sides.
The bridge runs south to north and leads to a gatehouse and past this an upper ward opens, with a manor house and the kitchen on its east side. According to a legend, the kitchen collapsed into the sea during a stormy night in 1639 killing all the people working in it along with the guests at the banquet. As a matter of fact, the kitchen is still here. On this same side, right on the cliffs, are two circular towers, the northeast and the southeast one.
Further north there's the inner ward, with a bakehouse on its east side and more lodgings on the west side.
Today the castle is in complete ruin, but it's a unique landmark on the Antrim Coast.

Dunluce Castle was used as a location for the HBO TV series "Game of Thrones", it was the exterior of House of Greyjoy.
It was also one of the locations for the movie "Flight of the Doves" (1971) by Ralph Nelson (see movie at time 1:14:01 to 1:18:15 among the ruins, and at time 1:18:34 to 1:18:57 seen from the east), and for the movie "The Medallion" (2003), by Gordon Chan, where the castle is the hiding place of the Irish criminal Snakehead. The castle appears at time 0:51:28, 0:58:01 to 0:58:03, and at time 1:23:54 to 1:24:00 (end credits).

We came here for the first time on December 5th, 1995, on a frosty and clear morning!

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