The Stunning Dundrum Castle, County Down, Northern Ireland

Updated On: May 29, 2022

Dundrum Castle

Dundrum Castle History

Dundrum Castle is located in the town of Dundrum in County Down, Northern Ireland. It was constructed by John de Courcy, near the beginning of the 13th century, following his invasion of Ulster. The castle stands on the top of a rocky hill commanding fine views south over Dundrum Bay and the Mourne Mountains, the lands west towards Slieve Croob and the plains of Lecale to the east. The Castle is a State Care Historic Monument in the townland of Dundrum, in Newry, Mourne and Down District Council area.

Dundrum Castle was first referenced in the mid-13th-century Chronicle of Mann, which mentions de Courcy’s unsuccessful attempt to siege “the castle of Rath” in 1205. The castle was captured by King John in 1210. Most of the second floor of this keep was rebuilt in the 15th century.

After 1660, the Blundells returned and built a gabled L-shaped mansion which was ruined by the time the property passed to the second Marquess of Downshire in the early 19th century.

Dundrum Castle was built on the location of a previous Celtic fortification. It saw plenty of battles all the way to the 17th century. Dundrum Castle is one of the more important medieval castles in Ireland.

The Castle happens to be an important example of Norman architecture and is a regular destination for tourists and school children. The Castle is now a part of the Game of Thrones Tour as some scenes were shot there to depict Winterfell.

Make sure to enjoy Dundrum Castle and the surrounding historical sites and landscapes for a full-on experience.

The Mourne Mountains

The stunning surroundings of the Mourne Mountains, near Dundrum Castle, were used on three different occasions as filming locations for Game of Thrones. In the Game of Thrones season one, the location was used to film the entry to Vaes Dothrak.

Vaes Dothrak is where the Dothraki leaders (khalasars) gather and meet to trade, but not to fight as it is considered t place of peace.

Vaes Dothrak is the only city in the Dothraki Sea that is located near the far northeastern edge of the region. The entrance to Vaes Dothrak is marked by two large statues of a pair of stallions.

In season three, the show moved a bit to the nearby Tollymore Forest to film Theon’s attempted escape from the torture he’d been suffering from at the hands of Ramsey Bolton. Ramsey holds Theon captive and tortures him mercilessly both physically and mentally; turning him into a completely broken man and renaming him “Reek”. Tollymore Forest Park appeared once again as the Haunted Forest, where the White Walkers first appeared to make their move southward attempting to rejoin the rest of the human world. It is also where the Starks discover the direwolves that the Stark children chose to keep as pets. Leitrim Lodge, located down at the foothills of the Mournes was the location of north of Winterfell where Bran first meets Jojen and Meera.

The Mournes, near Dundrum Castle, are known to have inspired author CS Lewis to create the magical world of Narnia.

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