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Down Castles & Forts

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Castlewellan Forest Park, Castlewellan, Co Down

Located in a dramatic setting of mountains and sea, this is one of the most outstanding tree and shrub collections in Europe. The garden is a mixture of informal and formal design with terraces, fountains, ornamental gates and flower borders. To walk around the forest park's mile-long lake, encountering some intriguing modern sculptures on the way, is to enjoy a great experience of eighteenth-century landscaping.

Dundrum Castle, Newcastle, Co Down

Dundrum Castle, County Down is one of Ulster's medieval ruin, founded by the legendary Norman adventurer John de Courcy following his invasion of Ulster in 1177.There are views of Dundrum Bay and the plains of Lecale from the Castle.

Inch Abbey, Downpatrick, Co Dow

This Cistercian Abbey was founded by John de Courcy in 1180, who led the 1177 Anglo-Norman invasion of East Ulster. The ruins are set in a beautiful location beside the River Quoile, with distant views towards de Courcy's cathedral town of Downpatrick.

Lisnagade Rath

Lisnagade meaning "Fort of the Hundred" is a large Celtic multivallate rath (ringfort), three miles west of Banbridge, Co Down. It is an impressive circular earthwork, consisting of three massive ditch-separated banks, approximately 6m high, which completely surround the fort. Though artefacts of the bronze era have been recovered from the site, little is known about its occupants. This ancient site dates back more than 1000 years, and is thought to have been constructed around 350 AD.

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