an early Irish fort was located on this easily defended crag, it was
the Normans who built a castle. It is thought that Richard de Burgh,
Earl of Ulster first constructed a castle there in the 14th Century.
The two large drum powers were built by the McQuillans in the 14th
Century. Sorley Boy MacDonnell seized the castle in 1558 after the
death of his brother Colla, who had been married to the daughter of
the McQuillan chief. He was twice removed from it - first in 1565
by Shane O'Neill and then in 1584 by the lord Deputy, Sir John Perrott
who had been sent to capture it by Queen Elizabeth. Sorley Boy used
money from the sinking of the treasure ship of the Spanish Armada,
the Girona, from just around the coast to modernise the castle and
much of the present building dates to about that time. The cannon
ports in the curtain wall were constructed to hold cannon taken from
the Girona. In 1639 the kitchens, and many of the servants, of the
castle fell into the sea and the castle fell into disrepair. The MacDonnells
now live in Glenarm Castle further around the coast of County Antrim.