Dunsevrick Castle Antrim
Dunsevrick Castle Antrim

Dunsevrick Castle – Remains of a Kingdom


There is not much left of Dunseverick Castle, the last fort on this location for perhaps over three thousand years. Though the historical records are sketchy, this was also a power centre for the Dal Riata kingdom which used its maritime skills parts of the north off Ireland and the west of Scotland

Map of Dál Riata at its height, c. 580–600. Pictish regions are marked in yellow. from Wikipedia

Dunseverick Castle and the peninsula on which it stands were given to the National Trust in the UK in 1962 by local farmer Jack McCurdy. The castle is supposedly named after Sobairce, one of the Kings of Ireland, who reputedly built a fort, called Dunsobairce (Fortress of Sobairce), here in 1525 BC

It is the 500 AD departure point from Ireland of the Lia Fail coronation stone. Murtagh loaned it to Fergus for the latter’s coronation in western Scotland part of which Fergus had settled as his sea-kingdom expanded. The castle was ruled by the O’Cahan family held it from around 1000 to 1320 and then again from the mid 1500s with help of the MacDonnell’s, from the MacQuillan family.  

The castle was captured and destroyed by General Robert Munro in 1642, and today only the ruins of the gate lodge remain. 

There is an interesting article from the Dublin Penny Journal about the historical evidence for the naming of Dunseverick. The article is as much about the quest for historical truth and proper procedure than solely something of a local interest:

The castle now forms part of this walk:

Read more


Leave a Reply

Previous Story

Robin – Spideog – All kinds of Sad songs

Next Story

Grianan of Aileach – How to avoid the nostalgia of authenticity

Latest from Castles

Sketrick Castle

Sketrick Castle is a castle on Sketrick Island near Whiterock, County Down, Northern Ireland. It is