Map Reference:J415873 (3415, 3873)
The inner ward & keep of the castle was built by John de Courcy in the 1180s. The keep is four storeys and 90ft high, with a first floor entrance. Following its capture by the crown in 1210, constables were appointed to command the place and in 1217 £100 was assigned to build a new curtain wall. This middle ward wall was later reduced to ground level in 18th century except along the sea-ward side, where it survives with a postern gate.
Hugh de Lacy took over in 1227 and the rest of the promontory was enclosed to form an outer ward, doubling the area of the castle. There are two polygonal towers at the west and a twin-towered gatehouse at the north. The castle was besieged again by Edward Bruce in 1315. During 16th century the towers were cut in half to accommodate artillery and there were various other improvements during 16th and 17th century.
In 1760 it was captured by the French. Later it became a prison and was heavily defended during the Napoleonic Wars. It remained in use as a magazine and armoury until it was transferred into State Care in 1928.
The following monochrome photos of Carrickfergus Castle were taken in 1976.
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