Take a centuries old castle and perch it on the rugged Antrim coast of Northern Ireland, add some dramatic skies and you have my kind of scenery.
DSCN9289 Antrim coast sl 8x6The first written record of Dunluce Castle was in 1513 when it was in the hands of the MacQuillan Family.  It sits in a position of power high on the basalt cliffs between Portballintrae and Portrush.  Later it became the home of the chief of the Clan MacDonnell and later, the Clan MacDonald of Dunnyveg from Scotland.DSCN9300 Dunluce Castle sl 8x6

The story goes that the kitchens fell away and dropped into the sea one stormy night in 1639, taking several servants with it.  Only a kitchen boy survived.  DSCN9302 Dunluce Castle sl 8x6

In the early 17th C during the tenure of the MacDonnell’s a small town was established around the castle.  The town was burnt in the aftermath of the Irish Rebellion in 1641 but recent archaeological digs are revealing the remains of cobbled streets and merchants’ houses in the fields around the castle. DSCN9301 Dunluce Castle sl 8x6

In the 18th C the north wall collapsed into the sea.DSCN9293 Dunluce Castle sl 8x6

What still stands today are impressive ruins from a different time that spark the imagination. It is said to have shaped C.S. Lewis’s descriptions of Cair Paravel in his Narnia books and it is featured in the artwork for Led Zeppelin’s House of the Holy album.


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