Construction of Northburgh
Northburgh Castle was built in 1305 by Walter de Burgo’s son Richard Óg de Burgo, 2nd Earl of Ulster, also known as The Red Earl.
Richard Óg De Burgo controlled parts of Ulster and most of Connacht.
At the time he had much of eastern and northern Ulster under his control except for the Inishowen Peninsula and Tír Chonnail.
These remained the territory of the Ó Domhnaill (O’Donnells) and the Ó Dochartaigh (O’Dohertys) partly because of help they received from Scotland.
The Earl built Northburgh at the mouth of Lough Foyle for two main reasons.
To guard the entrance to the Lough from potential invasion from Scotland and
To subdue the O’Donnells and reduce their influence in the north-west.
The design of the castle is based on examples from Wales, especially Caernarfon Castle.
One strange feature is that the castle was split-level – on entering at the gatehouse you had to go upstairs to get to the ‘upper ward’ in the castle
This is because it was built on uneven bedrock
A Norman church, known as Teampall Maol, was built at the same time