- Belfast Castle
Belfast Castle is set on the slopes of Cavehill Country Park,
Belfast, Northern Irelandin a prominent position 400 feet above sea level. Its location provides unobstructed views of the city of Belfast and Belfast Lough.
A castle has existed on the site since the late 12th century built by the
Normans. [ [http://www.belfastcastle.co.uk/history.asp Belfast Castle: History] ] On the same site a wooden castle was built in 1611. This was the home of Sir Arthur Chichester, baron of Belfast but was burned down in 1708, leaving only street names to mark the site. The castle that stands today was completed in 1870 by the 2nd Marquess of Donegall, and was designed by Charles Lanyonand his son in the Scottish baronial style. After Donegall's death and the family's financial demise, the 8th Earl of Shaftesbury completed the house.
It was his son, the 9th Earl of Shaftesbury, who presented the castle to the City of Belfast in 1934. In 1978 Belfast City Council began a major refurbishment over a period of ten years at a cost of over two million pounds. The architect was the Hewitt and Haslam Partnership. The building officially re-opened to the public on 11 November 1988.
The castle hosts an antiques shop, a restaurant and visitors centre and it is a popular venue for conferences, private dining and wedding receptions.
* [http://www.belfastcastle.co.uk Belfast Castle official website]
* [http://www.belfastcity.gov.uk/belfastcastle/index.asp?menuitem=about Belfast City Council - About Belfast Castle]
* [http://www.thenorthernirelandguide.co.uk/blog/gerard-mcgarry/all-about-belfast-castle All About Belfast Castle at The Northern Ireland Guide]
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