Outer Ward

The castle has witnessed centuries of history and today is still a formidable medieval structure and one of Ulster’s most recognisable and beloved landmarks.

John de Courcy, an Anglo-Norman knight, is credited with building the inner ward with several buildings including a massive keep at least three storeys high. Between 1203-1205 De Courcy was ousted by another Norman adventurer, Hugh de Lacy, who later enclosed the rest of the promontory to form an outer ward and gatehouse, doubling the area of the castle.   

It was besieged for over a year by Lord Edward Bruce of Scotland in 1315 and legend tells that he was crowned High King of Ireland here.  The castle was later recaptured by the English, and the whole area around Carrickfergus was transformed by Sir Arthur Chichester in the early 17th century when new settlers from the Scottish Lowlands settled in this area, developing the town’s Scotch Quarter and introducing their culture, language and lifestyle to the area.