Dunluce ‘Castle’ and the Reverend Macully


Having been born in Northern Ireland, when I saw reference to a residence called ‘Dunluce’ in Brighton it attracted my immediate attention. Dunluce is the name of a now ruined medieval castle (picture below, courtesy of Wikipedia) on the north coast of Northern Ireland, not far from Coleraine were I lived for a number of years. Continue reading “Dunluce ‘Castle’ and the Reverend Macully”


Riga Castle – Musical Chairs


Riga Castle is the official residence of the President of Latvia though, as I have indicated on my House of Blackheads review, the President currently resides there (2015) and has done so since mid 2012 as the Castle is being renovated. Continue reading “Riga Castle – Musical Chairs”

Castle Balfour, Lisnaskea


Sir James Balfour, a Plantation undertaker from Fifeshire, Scotland, built Castle Balfour in around 1618 on the edge of a low limestone cliff on the edge of the present town of Lisnaskea to assist in the securing of the plantation of Ulster, occurring at this time. Continue reading “Castle Balfour, Lisnaskea”


Portora Castle


Portora Castle is located on the south bank of the River Erne overlooking the narrowest part of the river before it widens into Lower Lough Erne. Archaeological digs have recovered Stone Age axes, Bronze Age swords and Iron Age ornaments proving that this has been an important and busy crossing point between the provinces of Connacht and Ulster back to prehistoric times. Continue reading “Portora Castle”


Monea Castle


This is most complete and the best preserved of Ulster’s plantation castles and well worth a visit. I have also written reviews on a number of others.

The so-called plantation castles were built in the 1610s and 1620s to consolidate the Ulster plantation of that period – when Ulster was colonised (following the Flight of the Earls in 1607) and planted with loyal wealthy landowners (from Scotland and England) to prevent further rebellion. Ulster had been the region most resistant to English control during the preceding century. Continue reading “Monea Castle”


Tully Castle


A series of castles were built in County Fermanagh (and elsewhere in Ulster) in the 1610s and 1620s by settlers who arrived in the Plantation of Ulster around this time. The castles served a dual purpose. They were both a display of wealth and power over the supplanted Irish and a line of defence to support and bolster the Plantation. Continue reading “Tully Castle”


Crevenish Castle


The remains of Crevenish Castle are south-east of the village of Kesh on the Crevenish Road, or ‘the back road’ as the locals call it – a beautiful drive in itself.

The Castle (originally called Castle Hassett) was built by Thomas Blennerhassett a native of Norwich, England. Blennerhassett secured his land here – confiscated Maguire property – in 1610 as part of the Ulster Plantation. A church, built around the same time has long since disappeared. Continue reading “Crevenish Castle”


Necerne Castle – What’s on the Slab?


Necerne Castle is one of many Plantation Castles in Country Fermanagh – that is a castle built or acquired by English or Scottish settlers in the early 1600s. What differentiates this from many of the others including Tully, Monea, Crevenish and Portora is its two storey Tudor-Gothic south wing extension added in 1833, its relatively better state of repair (it was used until the late 1940s) and the striking blue wooden panels securing its windows and doors! Continue reading “Necerne Castle – What’s on the Slab?”


Castle Archdale Country Park

The original building on Castle Archdale estate, and the one which gives it its name, was a Plantation castle built in 1615 for the English ‘undertaker’ planter, John Archdale from Suffolk, on land granted to him in 1612. An ‘undertaker’ planter was a landlord who was given a large estate of land at a low rent in exchange for an undertaking to settle ten English or Scottish families on each 1000 acres of land received. Continue reading “Castle Archdale Country Park”


Enniskillen Castle Complex


The castle complex consists of a number of buildings including the Keep (main castle), the Watergate, a magazine, various barracks buildings and a reception area. The reception area, which houses the Fermanagh County Museum, opened in 1992-3. Continue reading “Enniskillen Castle Complex”