I visited this castle in 2008.
Castle Carra lies in a field north of the coastal village of Cushendun, in County Antrim, in Northern
When Castle Carra was built is unknown although it probably dates from early 14th century. It is a
square tower house with a bawn built over a Mesolithic flint working site.
In 1565 the castle was owned by the self-proclaimed Earl of Ulster Shane O'Neill who imprisoned
Sorley Boy McDonnell here.
In 1567, two years after being defeated by Shane O'Neill, the McDonnells entertained their former
adversary in Castle Carra, providing two days of hunting and feasting. However, on the third day,
taking advantage of the confusion of a quarrel, they stabbed O'Neill to death to avenge their
earlier defeat. His head was cut off and sent to representatives of Queen Elizabeth in Dublin.
In 1585, Donnell Gorm McDonnell was besieged by the English in the tower until his father Sorley Boy,
at the age of eighty landed in the bay from Scotland and drove off the besiegers.
At the end of the medieval period the castle ruins were used as a childrens cemetery.
I think the field on which the castle stands is private property. When I visited, rain was pouring
down and the field was used for grazing a couple of horses and a couple of lama's and especially the
2 lama's kept a very watchful eye to my every movement. So I don't think access is allowed and in
case of the lama's not very advisable. Too bad because it looked like an interesting little ruin.
Back to top.