Exploring Carlingford & The Cooley Peninsula
Only an hours drive from both Belfast and Dublin nestled between the Cooley Mountains and the shores of Carlingford Lough, straddling the border between the Republic and Northern Ireland. The village of Carlingford has a rich history dating back hundreds of years.
While it’s exact origins are still somewhat of a mystery, the beginnings of modern Carlingford lie some eight centuries ago in the construction of Carlingford Castle on a rocky outcrop by Norman knight, Hugh deLacy. Around this fortress developed the village with typical to the era defensive walls, narrow streets, friary and urban tower houses. In addition to acting as the local market, the village also played an important regional function serving as a major port on the north east coast.
Further in to the village you will find the remains of Taffee’s Castle, also known as the Merchant House which functioned as a fortified townhouse and as a trading depot for the mercantile Taaffe family, the one time “Earls of Carlingford”.
The increased trade around this time also lead to the creation of “The Mint” which was granted licence to press coins around 1467. While it is recognised that this was the most likely use of the building, somewhat strangely no coins minted in Carlingford have ever been found.
Carlingford truly is a brilliant place to visit for anyone interested in Irish history.
More information on Carlingford and the area can be found on our sister website VisitCarlingford.com