Constructed in the late 12th Century by John de Courcy, the Anglo-Norman conqueror of east Ulster , this castle was a military stronghold for almost 600 years. It sustained a long siege by Edward Bruce in 1315-16. For several hundred years it was the Crown’s principal residential and administrative stronghold in the north.
It was seized by General Schomberg on behalf of King William in 1689 and was captured briefly by the French in 1760. It functioned as a prison during the Napoleonic Wars, then an armoury until 1928 and later an air raid shelter during the Second World War.
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