Belfast Castle is set on the slopes of Cavehill Country Park at 400-feet above sea level. It has beautiful gardens and spectacular views overlooking Belfast Lough. Belfast’s first castle was built by the Normans in the 13th century in what is now the city centre. This was destroyed by fire in 1707 and is only remembered by the name ‘Castle Street’. Belfast remained without a castle for another 160 years until this one was built in 1870. In 1863 the 3rd Marquis of Donegall, a descendant and heir of the Chichester family decided to build himself a ‘suitable’ residence. It was inspired by Balmoral Castle and is a typical example of a style called Scottish Baronial. Typical features of this dramatic style of architecture are the cone-capped towers, the bartizans towers perched half way up the building and the ‘crow-stepped’ gables. During this Victorian era many buildings that called themselves ‘castles’ were really only exquisite mansions as a castle in its true sense was built for a defensive purpose.