Red Bay Castle, Northern 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.

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 te forces of Oliver Cromwell in 1652.

Here is a video clip showing the castle in context of the local¬†landscape –

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