Dunseverick is one of the many ruined castles of Ireland. It is located in county Antrim.
Although you can walk between the ruins, many visitors prefer to park at the small car park a short distance away and sight see from there.
At first look, the ruins look unspectacular and may give you the impression that you have wasted your time coming here. However, three things suggest you didn’t.
First, though unimpressive in terms of the remains that you see, Dunseverick has a dramatic setting. True, it is not as dramatic as Kinbane, or Dunluce, but nonetheless, the landscape is rugged and wild. This is the way the Antrim coast is though and that is what made us love it more than most places in Northern Ireland. So if you enjoy landscapes, Dunseverick castle will not disappoint you.
Second, Dunseverick has a notable history.
Third, it is located just off the main road between Ballycastle and Giants Causeway that everyone seems to visit and therefore a quick stop will cost you neither time nor money. And if you like it a lot, then just walk to the ruins and enjoy a closer look. Either way you will be able to say that you visited this castle with the fascinating name.
The history of Dunseverick castle goes all the way back to the 5th century. While the current structure was not in existence then, there was a small rock fortification. In the 5th century none other than Patrick himself, the hero of Christianity in Ireland, on several occasions visited the village of Dunseverick located close to the castle. He baptised a number of individuals, among them Olcan who later became a bishop.
The area was later incorporated to Dalriada, a famed kingdom of the 6th and 7th centuries that covered County Antrim and south-western Scotland and a glorious part of Antrim history.
In 870 Vikings attacked the area and destroyed the stone fort that existed in Dunseverick. The castle was rebuilt and in the centuries that followed changed ownership between some of the main clans in the area. The structure the remains of which you see today was built probably in the 16th century and is therefore contemporary with Kinbane and other castles in the area.
Following the outbreak of fighting in 1641 general Munro attacked it and destroyed and it has been in ruins ever since. The only thing you can see today is parts of an old tower and some small parts of rock walls. There was one more portion of the castle standing, a small residential tower, but it collapsed into the sea in 1978.
When it comes to tourism Antrim has a lot to offer. But don’t overlook Dunseverick. From Ballycastle take either the coastal B15 road, or the slightly inland but better A2 and head west towards the Giants Causeway. The two roads meet soon after Ballintoy. About two miles after the two roads meet there is a turning to the right for Giants Causeway and Dunseverick is soon after on your right side. It is signposted. There is no entrance fee and no facilities apart from a small car parking area. Enjoy!