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Carncastle or Cairncastle (from Irish: carn, meaning "mound", and the English word "castle") is a small village and civil parish in County Antrim, Northern Ireland near the town of Larne and inland from the village of Ballygally. It had a population of 66 people in the 2001 Census. It is part of the Mid and East Antrim Borough Council area.


Cairncastle Presbyterian Church is one of the oldest congregations of the Presbyterian Church in Ireland. The congregation was founded in 1646, four years after the foundation year of the Presbytery of Carrickfergus, which is the oldest presbytery in Ireland. The current minister is The Reverend Fiona Forbes, who was installed in 2014.


Knockdhu (from Irish: Cnoc Dubh, meaning "black hill") is a Bronze Age promontory fort and settlement situated approximately one mile to the west of Cairncastle. The site consists of a set of three banks and ditches, Bronze Age roundhouses, and a probable gatehouse. It was excavated for the first time in 2008 for a Time Team episode that was first broadcast on 18 January 2009.

Game of Thrones[edit]

Cairncastle has recently raised its profile due to the filming of HBO's fantasy series Game of Thrones. Season One used the mountains above Cairncastle for the location of where Ned Stark executed Will, the deserter from the Night's Watch at Knock Dhu, a basalt escarpment above the town.

Cairncastle Flute Band[edit]

One of the oldest Protestant marching bands in Northern Ireland. having been formed around 1855-1859. The band practice in the small village of Cairncastle but they are known to be from the mainland of Larne where the majority of their members come from.[citation needed]

Public House[edit]

One of the outstanding features of the small village is the small, but popular traditional pub called the Meeting House. It is also often referred to as Mattie Moore's, who was the former owner and operator of the pub during its early days.

See also[edit]



Time Team

Coordinates: 54°53′N 5°53′W / 54.883°N 5.883°W / 54.883; -5.883