I asked Sue for the first travel-related thing that came into her head when I said the word Green. “Ireland’, she replied, without hesitation, invoking memories of one of our earliest trips together, back in 2002.
Our very first stop upon arriving on the Emerald Isle was Dunluce Castle. This medieval fortress occupies a stunning location on the North Antrim coast, less than five miles west of the Giant’s Causeway. It perches 100 feet above the sea, atop a headland of sheer basalt cliffs, and is only accessible by means of a bridge.
The oldest archaeological evidence of human habitation at Dunluce dates from the 10th Century. The current castle was begun during the late 13th or early 14th Centuries by Richard Óg de Burgh, 2nd Earl of Ulster, although historical records indicate that it was in the hands of the MacQuillan Clan by 1513.
Ownership of Dunluce Castle passed to the MacDonnell Clan in 1565, after they twice defeated the MacQuillans in battle. Despite temporarily losing the castle more than once, the MacDonnells own Dunluce to this day, even though the building was abandoned in the late 17th Century.
In 1588, the Girona, one of the ships from the ill-fated Spanish Armada, was wrecked on the nearby cliffs. More recently, Dunluce Castle has been used as the basis for the House of Greyjoy in the TV series Game of Thrones.
This post was inspired by the theme Green from Cee (of Cee’s Photography). Apologies for these images being of a lower quality than normal, but our visit to Ireland pre-dated Rich’s first digital camera, so these are scans of actual photographs.
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