People have been visiting Carrickfergus for centuries – some arrived through shipwreck, some to build its great Castle, some to be crowned as king, some to invade and besiege. Others came to establish Earldoms, churches and communities, or to prepare their young men for World Wars.
Carrickfergus Castle was built by the Anglo-Norman, John de Courcy, when he invaded Ulster in 1177 and it is the best preserved Anglo-Norman castle in Ireland. The Castle’s strategic importance meant it was frequently attacked by the Irish and the Scots. Indeed, in 1315, Carrickfergus Castle was besieged for over a year by Lord Edward Bruce and his Scottish forces. According to legend, Edward was crowned High King of Ireland here.
During the First World War, 1914-1918, Carrickfergus Castle was used to store weapons and it remained garrisoned until 1923. It also saw military service during the Second World War, 1939-1945, when its cellars were used as an air raid shelter. At that time, Carrickfergus was the base for troops from all over the United Kingdom, as well as Belgian and American troops. The elite American Army force, the US Rangers, was formed here in 1942.
Marine Highway, Carrickfergus, BT38 7BG
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