Dunseverick Castle is situated in County Antrim, near the small village of Dunseverick and close to the Giant’s Causeway. From the small car park at the side of the road (where you initially view the remains of the castle), it actually doesn’t look like much until you climb over the wall (stile provided) and follow the path there to sea level (you can go down both sides of the wall).
Saint Patrick is recorded as having visited Dunseverick castle in the 5th century AD, where he baptized Olcán, a local man who later became a Bishop of Ireland. The original stone fort that occupied the position was attacked by Viking raiders in 870 AD.
In the later part of the 6th century AD, this was the seat of Fergus Mor MacEirc (Fergus the Great). Fergus was King of Dalriada and great-uncle of the High King of Ireland, Muirceartaigh (Murtagh) MacEirc. It is the AD 500 departure point from Ireland of the Lia Fail or coronation stone. Murtagh loaned it to Fergus for the latter’s coronation in western Scotland part of which Fergus had settled as his sea-kingdom expanded.
The O’Cahan family held it from circa 1000 AD to circa 1320 AD, then regained it in the mid 16th century. The castle was captured and destroyed by General Robert Munro in 1642 and his Cromwellian troops in the 1650s, and today only the ruins of the gatelodge remain. A small residential tower survived until 1978 when it eventually fell into the sea below.
It was a ‘key’ ancient site in Ireland. All photos were taken just a few days ago by me on Jan 27th 2015.
One of our lesser known castles, but Dunseverick hides some truly stunning coastline behind its prominence.
Like an ancient, ocean liner, encased in stone, the castle sits on top of a huge cliff.
From below (at sea level) it looks much more impressive.
All that remains is the ruins of the old gatehouse.
Just like Mussenden Temple, its the view behind the castle ruins that really impresses however.
Looking the opposite direction up the coast.
I want to live in that little cottage in the distance.
Dunseverick Castle January 2015. Its not hard to see why shows like Game of Thrones continually comes back to NI to film with scenery like this everywhere.