Red Bay Castle, Northern Ireland

 

Red Bay Castle, North Ireland.

This evening, I am focusing on Red Bay Castle which is located on Northern Ireland's Antrim Coast, near Waterfoot, which overlooks the Irish Sea towards Scotland. The castle is situated about forty eight miles north of Belfast.

                                                  Red Bay with castle in distance.

This somewhat innocuous ruin belies a long and complicated history as summarised below, viz:

  • The motte dates from the Anglo-Norman period of around the 12th century with the castle possibly built of wood.
  • A new castle was built during the 13th century by two exiled Scotsmen, John and Walter Bisset.
  • The surviving stonework represents the remains of a castle built by Sir James McDonnell around 1561.
  • McDonnell's castle was burned to the ground by Shane O'Neill in 1565.
  • Castle rebuilt by Sorley Boy McDonnell ( 1505-1590).
  • Restored 1604 but destroyed by tHe forces of Oliver Cromwell in 1652.

Here is a video clip showing the castle in context of the local landscape - 

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