Kilclief Castle

Places to See | Co. Down, Northern Ireland.



Kilclief Castle, overlooking Strangford Lough, was built between 1413 and 1441, reputedly by John Sely, bishop of Down. This makes it the earliest datable tower-house in County Down and is often used to date other tower-houses in the County.

With its square projecting turrets, high arch and spiral staircases, it is one of the oldest in Lecale district. The castle is unusually tall, with 4 floors.  An interesting feature is that one turret contains a spiral staircase and the other a series of garderobes accessed from three of the four floors. There is also a defensive machicolation arch covering a drop hole, which would have been used for dropping missiles on any unwelcome visitors.

The unusual style of this castle appears to have been a model for those at Ardglass, Strangford and other sites in the Lecale.

Car parking available in nearby lay-by, and a board outside the building explains where visitors can obtain a key should they want access. Guided tours of this Castle in Northern Ireland are available on request in the summer months.

Address:  Kilclief Castle, Strangford, County Down


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