From My Personal Collection
I can’t claim any Irish ancestry, at least not that I know of, but my ancestress, Joan Antrobus, and her second husband, John Tuttle, migrated from England to the Massachusetts Bay Colony and then spent the rest of their lives in Carrickfergus, just north of Belfast, Northern Ireland.
I was thrilled to be able to visit Carrickfergus last year on our British Isles cruise. Just a few reminders remain of Carrickfergus of the 1600s, but one of them is Carrickfergus Castle, which was already centuries old when John and Joan lived there.
The original portion of Carrickfergus Castle was the Keep. It was the strongest and safest portion of the castle, meant to be a haven for those under attack. Its walls are 3-5 yards thick and the structure is 30 yards high. Construction began about 1177 by John de Courcy.
Later portions of the castle were built around the Keep and were finished by the 1300s, although the castle was used for defense from the French as late as the 1800s.
It’s amazing that so much of the castle is still standing today.
Dave and I toured the old castle, so for this St. Patrick’s Day post, I’d like to share some of our pictures.
Approaching Carrickfergus Castle
Still on Guard!
The Keep from Inside the Castle Grounds
Model of Carrickfergus Castle As It Originally Looked
Exercise Yard in Front of the Keep
Walkway within the Castle Grounds
Sea View from 19th Century Cannon in the Castle Grounds
Carrickfergus was one place I never expected to visit, but when the opportunity presented itself, Dave and I took advantage. Even today, Carrickfergus Castle is an imposing structure. It is easy to see why intruders would have a most difficult time conquering this town!
Happy St. Patrick’s Day