The stunning ruins of Dunluce Castle is used extensively to market Northern Ireland as a holiday destination. It is located on the north Antrim coast on top of a 100 foot high basalt stack and has stunning views out to Rathlin Island and beyond to the Scottish coastline. The geography was a perfect location for a castle as access and escape could be restricted by either crossing the narrow bridge or by using the underground sea cave. The remains, as you see them today were mainly built by the MacDonnell clan in the 16th and 17th centuries however the outer walls and the round towers were built by the MacQuillan’s in the 14th century. The gatehouse at the end of the bridge is similar to ones found in Scotland which shows the close links the Northern Irish clans had with Scotland. The original gatehouse here was destroyed by the Lord Deputy of Ireland, Sir John Perrot, using cannon in 1584 attacked the castle. There are also two openings in the old gatehouse wall which were designed for cannons that Sorely Boy MacDonnell salvaged from ‘The Girona’: a Spanish Armada galleon ship which sank nearby during the storms of 1588. On the mainland area there are the remains of 3 terraces, a bowling green, stables, a corn drying kiln and lodgings for important visitors and a manor house built in the 1630’s which had a great hall. The famous story was when part of the kitchen fell into the sea and killed many of the kitchen staff during a lavish dinner party in 1639. In 1973 the castle appeared on the multi-million selling Led Zeppelin album ‘Houses of the Holy’.

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