By rights I should be showing you Picture the Eighth.
Which is a picture of the perfectly formed Norman stronghold, built in 1177 by John De Courcy, after he conquered Ulster, named Carrickfergus Castle.
This Castle, which you cannot see in the picture, has the distinction of having been besieged by the English, the Scots, the Irish and French. Although the Frenchman was stretching it a bit: he was the smuggler and privateer Francis Thurot whose men looted the castle and sailed away laughing.
Take away the white houses and this line of hills would be your view as the besieged.
The Celt and I arrived at sunset and tried to gain access to this troubled fort-next-the-glassy Belfast Lough, but it was closed.
But there were still people at the windows.
This is one of those charming places where they use life-size figures to make the castle more life-size. Dummies stood at the windows, forever frozen and besieged, watching the most incredible Northern Irish sunset. Cars drove past, seagulls screeched, a to-scale and slightly intimidating statue of King William III overseeing the car park with puritan sternness.
The strange soft vividness of the sun was in such stark contrast to the feeling of uncompromise. That great castle growing stubborn from a promontory, a petrified King in all his finery, statues at the windows looking down at the King and his subjects.
A place where battles were had whether they wanted them or no.
11 thoughts on “The sky from Carrickfergus Castle”
I don’t know if this works:
Sean O’Se – ‘Do Bhi Bean Uasal’ on Youtube.
It does, thank you, Helen! Thank you – good to hear Carrickfergus has its own ballad….
Nothing like a good old fashioned battle or two, to while away the time; we English were pretty good at that! 🙄
Indeed: the whole of the British Isless were accomplished scrappers, Brian…
Indeed we ARE Kate 😀
We would all love to wander over that one and enjoy the views. Somewhere from which to see how far my bow can shoot from a castle? A hapless tourist toppling over would mark the spot.
Meet you there for an arrow-shooting contest one of these days, Col ☺
I know you’re still out there. Why and wherefore lurkest thou?
Alas, Col, I have been working for English Heritage who demand your should when you join up. Just taking steps to claim mine back 🙂
sorry, demand your soul…..where is the edit mechanism on comments these days??
You see? You see? Not only have they claimed your soul but they have snatched some of your English Heritage causing you to demand their should! Make them stop!