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Carrickfergus Castle

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At more than 800 years old, Carrickfergus Castle is one of the best preserved medieval structures in Ireland. Located in the town of Carrickfergus about 10 miles north of Belfast, it was built between 1177 and 1195 by the Norman lord John deCourcy. Additions to the castle were made in 1216 and again in 1226, when the walls were extended to completely encircle all of the rock where the castle stood. Over the centuries, the castle was used as protection against attacks from the Scots, Irish, English and French. Later, it was used as a garrison during the First World War and as an air raid shelter during World War II.

Ownership of the castle was transferred from the army to the government of Northern Ireland in 1928, and at that time, many additions to the castle were removed in order to restore it to its original appearance. Exhibits in the castle today attempt to show what life was like during medieval times.