Historic Houses and Castles
Carlingford - King John's Castle
Carlingford, or King John's, Castle is located on the southern shores of Carlingford Lough. The lough was named by the Vikings and means 'bay of the hag'. Built by Hugh de Lacy, this dramatic fortress offers stunning views across the lough towards the Mourne Mountains. Legend has it that King John stayed here for three days in 1210 ad.
The original castle consisted of an enclosed courtyard with two rectangular towers at the entrance and two-storey buildings within. The eastern half of the castle was added in 1261 ad and included a number of rooms and probably a great hall. There were a number of alterations made to the castle over the centuries.
Carlingford Castle appears to have remained in English hands during the post-mediaeval period. Hugh O'Neill, Earl of Tyrone, tried to take the castle in a surprise attack in 1596.
The castle changed hands several times over the following centuries and was fired upon by retreating Jacobite forces in 1689. It also functioned as a hospital during the period leading up to the Battle of the Boyne.