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NORTHERN IRELAND

BATTLEFIELD AND MILITARY HERITAGE 

If you are  looking for something to do for an afternoon while on holiday somewhere in Britian, we can find a local expert guide for the battlefield and arrange a tour for you. 


The site of many battles between the Irish, Scots and English, also of celebrated events in the Williamite wars. The coastline has some notable medieval castles while Belfast has reminders of its key role in two world wars.  



Events in Northern Ireland

If you are planning a tour to Britian, and would like to take in some of the spectacle of our military heritage we can help you to take advantage of the dozens of re-enactment and other events staged around the country.


We will be adding an events calendar so you can see what is on and where!

Ulster Aviation Collection and Hanga

A collection of 20 historic aircraft and exhibits relating to Northern Ireland’s aviation heritage, housed in a World War II hangar. Aircraft on display include Canberra, Wessex and Alouette helicopters, Shorts Tucano and Shorts 330, Vampire, Seahawk, Buccaneer and a WWII Wildcat salvaged from Portmore Lough. Other displays include historic photos and memorabilia.

Siege of Londonderry

In 1689 the deposed King James II landed in Ireland with an army of French and Irish Catholics and marched on the Williamite stronghold of Derry. The city, encircled and bombarded, refused to surrender and after 105 days it was relieved by ships of the Royal Navy. The siege is commemorated each August by the Apprentice Boys of Derry. The city’s walls are still intact and original cannon from the time of the siege are displayed on them.

Apprentice Boys Museum, Derry

Dedicated to the history of the Siege of Derry, the exhibition also explains the development of the Apprentice Boys Association, established to commemorate the relief of the city. The Memorial Hall contains a collection of meeting rooms used by each of the Loyal Orders. It is also the starting point for the Siege Heroes Trail. 

 

Newtonbutler Battlefield 1689 

A part of the Williamite War. A Jacobite army under Viscount Mountcashel set out to take Enniskillen, a base from which guerrilla attacks were being mounted by Williamites. Mountcashel started by bombarding Crom Castle some 20 miles south east of Enniskillen. Two days later a Williamite force arrived to confront them and the battle took place a mile south of Newtonbutler. The Jacobites were crushed and suffered heavy casualties

Royal Irish Fusiliers Museum, Armagh

Housed in Sovereign’s House, the collection contains the uniforms, medals, regalia and the two Victoria Crosses won by the Regiment. A new exhibition looks at trench warfare in the First World War.

Inniskillings Museum, Enniskillen Castle

The castle houses the regimental museum of the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers and the 5th Royal Inniskilling Dragoon Guards. Displays include uniforms, medals, flags, regimental regalia, weapons and other military memorabilia. The castle, dating from the 16th century, was the stronghold of the Maguires, Gaelic chiefs of Fermanagh. Around the medieval keep are the 18th and 19th century barrack buildings and the 17th century Watergate with twin turrets.

Dunluce Castle

Ruined medieval castle situated on a headland over the north Antrim coast, not far from the Giant’s Causeway. Its oldest features are the two drum towers. First recorded as home of the MacQuillans in 1513 it was later the headquarters of the MacDonnell clan. A ship from the Spanish Armada, the Girona, was wrecked on the rocks nearby and its cannon were installed in the gatehouses of the castle. 

Grey Point Fort, Helen’s Bay

One of the best preserved coastal forts in Britain, now a hands-on military museum. Built in 1904-7 to defend the entrance to Belfast Lough, the fort had a number of large calibre coastal guns to protect against naval attack, however these proved of limited use against German air attacks in World War II. It still has two 23 feet long guns, the original observation post and three searchlight positions. The fort now houses a Military Memorabilia Museum and a World War II Military Radio Museum.

Battle of Glentaisie Battlefield (1565)

Fought near Ballycastle in 1565, between the army of Shane O’Neill and that of the Scots Clan Macdonnel in the struggle for supremacy in Ulster. A surprise attack by O’Neill routed the Scots who fled over Knocklayd mountain. Some parts of the battlefield, including the sites where the two armies were encamped the night before, are now within the town of Ballycastle, but the slopes of Knockayd remain wooded with coniferous trees.

Carrickfergus Castle

ne of the best preserved medieval castles in Ireland. Standing on a rocky promontory looking over Belfast Lough, it was originally almost surrounded by sea. Built by the Norman John de Courcy in 1177, it was captured by King John in 1210. King William first set foot in Ireland here in 1690. A French force under Francois Thurot briefly seized Carrickfergus and its castle in 1760 during the Seven Years War. The castle now houses historical displays and cannon from the 17th to 19th century.

Battle of the Yellow Ford 1598

An English expeditionary force under Henry Bagenal sent from Dublin to relieve the fort on the River Blackwater was ambushed by Irish forces near the River Callan. Bagenal was killed by a bullet to the head, near the bridge that now bears his name. Shortly after, the English gunpowder store exploded. Irish cavalry followed by swordsmen on foot took advantage, attacking at a point called the Yellow Ford. The crown troops were cut to pieces, the survivors retreated to Armagh. Information panels are being erected along the six mile route.

Irish Republican History Museum, Belfast

Documenting the history of Irish republicanism with artefacts dating back to the United Irishmen’s rising of 1798 and the rebellion of 1803. It contains medals from the period 1916-23 and items relating to the imprisonment of Republicans in various decades. Weaponry on display includes assault rifles, grenade launchers and hand guns used by Irish Republicans as well as British military issue side arms and rifles. There is also a large collection of posters and paintings related to The Troubles.

Clontribret Battlefield 1595

Part of the Nine Years War. A running battle fought over two days in the area between Armagh and Monaghan that straddles the present day border with the Republic, between the forces of Hugh O’Neill, Earl of Tyrone, and Queen Elizabeth’s English army under Sir Henry Bagenal. Tyrone’s forces ambushed the English on the way to, and later from, Monaghan Castle, ending in victory for the Irish. The heart of the battlefield is now a wildlife centre where visitors can retrace the route of the battle.

Somme Heritage Centre, Newtownards

Created to examine Ireland’s role in the First World War, focusing on the story of its three volunteer divisions – the 10th and 16th (Irish) Divisions, and the 36th (Ulster) Division. It looks in particular at the cross-community nature of these divisions and has since expanded to take in World War II and other international conflicts. Its collections follow the fortunes of named individuals in the course of the First and Second World Wars

Battle of Carrickfergus (1597)

A pre-arranged parley between the army of the Macdonnells and the English garrison from Carrickfergus Castle turned into a battle when the English, confronted unexpectedly by a full army near to the castle, decided to charge rather than parley. The Scots counter charge was more effective, scattering the crown troops, some of whom escaped by swimming across Larne Lough to the peninsula of Islandmagee.

HMS Caroline

Last surviving ship from the World War I Battle of Jutland. A C class light cruiser, HMS Caroline was launched and commissioned in 1914 and joined the Grand Fleet at Scapa Flow. In World War II she served as Royal Navy headquarters in Belfast Harbour. Decommissioned in 2011, Caroline remains moored in Alexandra Dock, Belfast, under care of the National Museum of the Royal Navy. On completion of a restoration project, funded by the National Heritage Memorial Fund and the Heritage Lottery Fund, she will be opened to the public as a museum. 

Northern Ireland War Memorial, Belfast

An enduring memorial to those who fell in the two world wars, including a Home Front Exhibition and a memorial to the hundreds killed in the Belfast Blitz. It also commemorates the association of US armed forces with Northern Ireland in World War II. Permanent exhibitions cover the Blitz, the Ulster Home Guard, the American presence, and the role played by the women of Ulster.

Battle of Diamond

The planned confrontation between rival factions, the Protestant Peep O’Day Boys and the Catholic Defenders, in County Armagh. The Diamond is a crossroads between Loughgall and Portadown. The Protestants were victorious but in the aftermath resolved to form a new defensive association, the Orange Order. Dan Winter’s House, a farmhouse next to the crossroads and said to be the birthplace of the Orange Order, has been restored and is open to the public. It displays of relics of the battle and there is also a monument nearby.

Battle of Ballynahinch

Part of the Ulster Rising of 1798. A local force of the United Irishmen led by Henry Munro gathered in the town of Ballynahinch. They were surrounded and bombarded by British forces under Major-General George Nugent. The rebels attacked but were routed and then massacred, effectively ending the rebellion in the north-east of Ireland. Ballynahinch was sacked and many of its houses burned down.