Dunluce ‘Castle’ and the Reverend Macully

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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”

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Portora Castle

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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

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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”

Crevenish Castle

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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?

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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

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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”