We’ve all heard of guarded castles and gatehouses with moats, dungeons and secret caves. And we have all seen them in the films like Braveheart and Harry potter so we’ve established that there made up…a fictional fad… Right!? Wrong!!!
Dunluce Castle on the North Antrim coast dates back as far the 1500’s when the site was established by the MacQuillans. Said to be the inspiration for C.S. Lewis’ Chronicles of Narnia, this ruin is very much, hard proof that castles of grandeur very much existed.
After years of conflict and besiegement Dunluce Castle gradually fell into ruin before coming into state guardianship in1928. But it still, to this day has an atmosphere about it and the layout so strong and determined that you can almost imagine the people of that time roaming around.
Having visited many countries and seen some amazing sites like the Colosseum and Sistene Chapel in Rome, the Burj Al Arab in Dubai or the Hungarian Ruins in Budapest… I can honestly say that nothing prepared me for this sight.
Perched on a basalt rock cliff top 100 feet above sea level, the castle itself remains in quite good condition for a ruin. Structural issues have seen small changes such as the bridge to the gatehouse which would have been a drawbridge and grills on some of the windows but this is for safety reasons and doesn’t take away from the beauty of the castle.
Each room is perfectly labelled and illustrated which gives fascinating images of what it would have been like. There is a small information centre which has artefacts found in excavations over the years. The first part of the walk way shows the stables, lodgings and brew house used for the production of ales for the castle and surrounding town.
The Lodgings and the Brew House
One of my favourite parts of the whole tour apart from the ovens and fireplaces is the natural sea cave – 30 metres below the castle which would have been, and still is to this day the only natural landing place at Dunluce castle.
You don’t have to be a history buff to enjoy this. It really is one of the most impressive and stunning sites I’ve ever seen. The views of the Atlantic and the beauty of the natural past should be enough to bring you to visit Medieval Dunluce Castle at least once.