Belfast Castle, County Antrim, Northern Ireland



Although there has been a castle nestled into Cave Hill from the 12th century, the current castle was only built in 1870 by the 3rd Marquis of Donegall, George Chichester. Having far exceeded the initial estimate cost of 11,000, the project was nearly left unfinished. The son-in-law of the Marquis, Lord Ashley (who was heir to the title Earl of Shaftesbury) stepped in and paid for its completion. In 1884 his wife and he inherited the Donegall home. The 9th Earl became Lord Mayor of Belfast in 1907 and Chancellor of Queen's University the following year. The family presented the castle and estate to the City of Belfast in 1934.

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