The Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA) is inviting the public to view plans for an exciting new development project at Dunluce Castle.
Recognising the potential for the Dunluce site to provide a unique heritage destination within Northern Ireland, the NIEA is embarking upon an exciting project to showcase Dunluce and all that it offers, with the support of funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund.
An Information day, at the Mill Rest in Bushmills on Thursday 1 May and a free open day at Dunluce Castle, on Saturday 3 May, both provide the public with a fantastic opportunity to hear about the project plans and to make a valuable contribution to these ambitious development proposals.
Phelim Maguire, Dunluce Development Project Manager said: “As a truly spectacular and iconic image of Northern Ireland, Dunluce Castle deserves to be showcased to the world as a must see visitor attraction. Our ambitious plans will transform Dunluce into a world class visitor’s experience and I encourage everyone to embrace this unique opportunity, attend the Information and Open Days and get involved in its future.”
The dramatic remains of Dunluce Castle sit precariously on the cliff edge with a stunning backdrop of the Antrim coast, recognised globally as one of the most iconic images of Northern Ireland. The atmospheric ruins of Dunluce are only half the story, however.
Lying buried in the fields beyond the castle gates are the remains of the town which once surrounded it, constructed around 1608. Archaeological excavations on the site over the last few years have revealed that the remains of this town have survived in superb condition.
Development plans for the site include a five year archaeological excavation and conservation programme that will allow visitors to walk down the original 17th-century cobbled street, and see where merchants’ houses once stood, leading to the historic castle gardens which will also be restored to their original grandeur.
These will be complimented by a new, world-class visitor centre, allowing the story of the castle and the town to be told through state of the art interpretation.”