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Spectacular Dunluce Castle

The stunning Medieval ruins of Dunluce Castle never cease to impress, even on a dull day in March! Here are some interesting facts about these dramatic ruins:

The castle was originally built in 1500 by the McQuillans, who came from Scotland in the 1200s as hired mercenaries, and built the castle around 200 years later.

The McQuillans held the castle for about 55 years before it was taken by the MacDonnells, who came over from Islay in 1554. They still own the castle, but now live in Glenarm.

Dunluce was taken by force from the McQuillans by Sorley Boy McDonnell after the Battle of Orla in 1565. It’s said the McDonnells covered a bog with rushes and stationed a few men on firm ground, fooling the McQuillans into charging into the bog.

Gary Moore's 1989 album After The War features an instrumental titled Dunluce.

After their expulsion, the MacDonnells frequently besieged the castle. Finally, their forces scaled the cliff, climbed into the corner towers and hanged the English captain. His ghost is said to haunt a tower.


The castle also has links to the Girona, the Spanish Armada ship that foundered by the Giant’s Causeway. Sorley Boy MacDonnell retrieved the cannons from the shipwreck and mounted them in the castle

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