Olderfleet Castle

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Coordinates: 54°50′42″N 5°48′32″W / 54.845°N 5.809°W / 54.845; -5.809

Ruins of Olderfleet (circa 1860-1883).
Olderfleet Castle in 2006

Olderfleet Castle is a four-storey tower house, the remains of which stand on Curran Point to the south of Larne harbour in Larne, County Antrim, Northern Ireland. The place name of Olderfleet is a corruption of Ulfrecksfiord (or Ulfried's Fjord) the Viking name.[1][2]

Olderfleet Castle is a State Care Historic Monument in the townland of Curran and Drumaliss, in Larne Borough Council area, at grid ref: D4133 0166.[3]

History[edit]

The tower house was possibly built by the Scoto-Irish Bissett family of Glenarm around 1250, although these remains are actually thought to be those of Curran Castle, a tower house built in the 1500s.[2][4] On a 1610 map it was called Coraine Castle.[5]

In 1315 Edward Bruce landed here with his 6000 strong army en route to conquer Ireland, with a welcome from the Bissetts. Queen Elizabeth I considered the castle of such strategic importance that it was seized for the crown and Sir Moyses Hill appointed its governor in 1569.[4] In 1597 the castle was claimed by the MacDonnells and in 1598 it was dismantled.[5]

The present castle was probably built about 1612.[5] In 1621 it was granted to Sir Arthur Chichester and remained in that family until leased to William Agnew in 1823. James Chaine purchased the lease in 1865. In 1938 it was taken into State Care.[2][4]

Features[edit]

What remains of the four-storey tower house is part of the tower with pairs of gun loops in the basement.[2] The square remains show that it only had 1 meter thick walls and it is without visible domestic features, which means that it could have been built as a fortified warehouse and watchtower.[5]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Sandford, Ernest (1976). Discover Northern Ireland. Belfast: Northern Ireland Tourist Board. p. 53. ISBN 0 9500222 7 6. 
  2. ^ a b c d "Olderfleet Castle". Discover Northern Ireland. Northern Ireland Tourist Board. Retrieved 13 April 2015. 
  3. ^ "Olderfleet Castle" (PDF). Environment and Heritage Service NI - State Care Historic Monuments. Retrieved 2007-12-03. 
  4. ^ a b c "Olderfleet Castle" (PDF). Larne Harbour Heritage Trail. Larne Borough Council. Retrieved 13 April 2015. 
  5. ^ a b c d "Olderfleet Castle". Castles.nl. Retrieved 13 April 2015.