Belfast Castle is a magnificent sandstone building offering a wealth of history and grandeur for a range of functions. Its sense of history, the superb setting and first-rate facilities makes Belfast Castle an ideal venue for that special occasion and offers a unique experience for all who visit.
It occupies a prominent position on the slopes of Cave Hill, some 120 metres (400 feet) above sea level.
The building was officially re-opened to the public on 11
November 1988 after a major refurbishment programme by Belfast City Council (opens in new window). It is now managed by the council.
The Beginnings of Belfast Castle
The first 'Belfast Castle' was built by the Normans in the late 12th century. In 1611, Sir Arthur Chichester, Baron of Belfast, built a stone and timber castle on the same site. This was burned down almost 100 years later, leaving only street names, such as Castle Place, to mark the location. Read more about the Castle's history and journey through time.
Belfast Castle Today
On entering the building, you pass the reception area and
into the Shaftesbury Room, where the original oak panelling and fireplace evoke
a sense of history.
Adjacent to this is the Donegall Room leading to the carved
oak staircase with spacious lobbies at both ground and first floor level. The
main room, the elegant Chichester Room with its polished maple floor, 18th
century style wallpaper, chandeliers and panoramic views, runs the full length
of the building and is an ideal setting for receptions, conferences, dinners
and other functions.
On the first floor is the bridal suite, and three function
rooms – the Fisherwick, Ashley and Ben Madigan (Lanyon Rooms) – each with
The cellars of the castle have a Victorian atmosphere, with
narrow, paved ‘streets’, shop fronts and gas lights. This area contains Cellar Restaurant and The Castle Tavern, which offers a variety of menus from
morning coffee to full meals.
The cellars also contain the Visitor Centre with exciting
displays on the history and folklore of Cave Hill Country Park and the story of
With its fascinating history and associations, its superb
setting and views, and well-deserved reputation for good food, Belfast Castle
is an idea centre for functions, receptions, conferences, exhibitions, or for
that special occasion.