Dublin Castle Courtyard is the highest point in Dublin’s centre and so was always the most strategic point for controlling the territory. There is evidence that there was a ring fort here as early as the 6th century, this was followed by a Viking fortress built in 930 and then a stone castle built by the Normans in 1204. It was from this point that this became the centre of English administration in Ireland for more than 700 years until 1921. In the late 1700’s the Georgian streetscape of Dublin was reshaped and redeveloped. Edward Lovett Pearce, one of the leading architects of the time, redesigned this area and the courtyard was built in 1779. The castle was also used as a royal residence, resided in by the Viceroy of Ireland and was so grand that it was stated that ‘it was far superior to the London Palace of St James’! Other interesting buildings and rooms on site include St Patrick’s Hall, the Throne Room, the state bedrooms, the exquisite Gothic chapel and the Norman keep. The castle is now a tourist attraction and is used as a conference centre.