Carrickfergus Castle – Northern Ireland

If you have heard the word “Carrickfergus” before may have listened to a song about the place from Charlotte Church who sings:

“I wish I was in Carrickfergus
Where the castle looks out to sea.
I would swim over the deepest ocean
For my love to be with me.
But the sea is wide and I can not swim over
Nor have I the wings to fly
I wish I had a handsome boatman,
To ferry me over, my love and I.”

Our Airbnb had a view of the ocean from our apartment in Carrickfergus just down the block from the castle.

Carrickfergus means the “Rock of Fergus”.  Fergus was one of the first kings of Ireland.  He drowned just a few hundred yards away and had this rock named after him.  Never liking to waste a good rock, the Irish build a castle here called Carrickfergus Castle. It is considered the best preserved castle in Northern Ireland.   The locals have a festival every year so we went down the block, crossed the street and there we were back in 1200 AD.

These historical reenactors are about to demonstrate how to dress a horse for battle.
These historical reenactors are about to demonstrate how to dress a horse for battle.

Admission was free the day of the festival and we were given a small glimpse of medieval times by these hired reenactors.  Reenactors are people who’s hobby it is to portray a time period or event with full scale props including clothing, food, surgical tools, armor and weapons, knights etc.

This kindly gentleman is portraying a physician. He has a load of surgical tools in front of him. The tongs - see the tongs? For pulling your occasional arrowhead or spear point.
This kindly gentleman is portraying a physician. He has a load of surgical tools in front of him. The tongs – see the tongs? For pulling your occasional arrowhead or spear point.
The armorer I believe. Chain mail was big back then along with fitted helmets.
The armorer. Chain mail was big back then along with fitted helmets.
The Great Hall in the castle keep.
The Great Hall in the castle keep.  The chess board is for the kids.
These guys were guarding the gate but they let everyone in.
These guys were guarding the gate but they let everyone in.
Carrickfergus has a great vantage point overlooking the inlet to Belfast.
Carrickfergus has a great vantage point overlooking the inlet to Belfast.
I was invited to try my hand at archery. My first shot - into the yellow in the middle. In your face Robin of Locksley
I was invited to try my hand at archery. My first shot – into the yellow – a bullseye.  In your face Robin of Locksley!
This falconer brought along several owls, a red tailed hawk, and some falcons for the visitors to touch. The local pigeons were nowhere to be seen.
This falconer brought along several owls, a red tailed hawk, and some falcons for the visitors to touch. The local pigeons were nowhere to be seen.

The crowd was very enthusiastic about the four knights who were all over the place with lances, staging mock combat, and dressing their horses.  Below is a short clip of a mock battle.

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There are parts of the town wall still in existence here and there in Carrickfergus.  You can read more about the castle and Carrickfergus by clicking on this link. http://www.causewaycoastalroute.com/carrickfergus.html

Author: talks2trees

I'm a recent writer and retired teacher. Married for more than half my life to Ariana I am content now to travel with her to warm places while snow swirls around our home in upstate NY where we live two houses away from my son, daughter-in-law and three grandchildren. Our daughter lives just a block away so our decision to travel is not without a consequence. However we have taken very few vacations in our married life so this journey, that starts in Costa Rica, is very new.

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