Looking for accommodation?
HomeDestinationsLouthCarlingfordKing John's Castle Carlin ...
King John's Castle Carlingford
CastleHistoric houseRuins
King John's Castle is a stunning historical landmark, located on the southern shores of Carlingford Lough in County Louth. Just a short stroll from the centre of the village of Carlingford, the castle dates from the 12th century.

County Louth is home to an atmospheric landmark, King John's Castle, on the southern shores of Carlingford Lough. Built by Hugh de Lacy, this dramatic fortress offers stunning views across the Lough towards the Mourne Mountains and 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.

The tower house was constructed in two phases, with the older portion completed in the early 16th century. The annex was most likely built around 50 years later to provide more living accommodation and was owned by the Earl of Carlingford, Nicholas Taaffe.

King John's Castle appears to have remained in English hands during the post-medieval period. Hugh O'Neill, Earl of Tyrone, tried to take the castle in a surprise attack in 1596 and the fortress changed hands several times over the following centuries. It also functioned as a hospital during the period leading up to the Battle of the Boyne. Visit this formidable fortress to see an authentic piece of Irish history.

Travel inspiration to your inbox?

Subscribe now to receive destination inspiration, travel tips, upcoming events and all the best things to do around Ireland!

Newsletter signup