A graphic depicting the old castle looking West up the High Street (on the left of the river).

The old Belfast Castle burnt down on 25 April 1708. It was located on a site to the south of the High Street and north of Castle Place.

The first castle building on this site was established in the 1170s by John De Courcy. It was probably a Motte and Bailey construction. 

The second structure was built in the 15th century which was reported destroyed and rebuilt several times throughout the 15th and 16th centuries. 

A third castle was built by the Earl of Essex in the 1570s. 

The fourth and final structure was built by Sir Arthur Chichester in the early 1600s and lasted a century.

The castle was not rebuilt and this land was given over to commercial and residential development in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.

The current modern day Belfast Castle sits on the slopes of Cave Hill and was constructed by the Earl of Shaftsbury in the 1870s. The building was donated to the City in the 1930s and today is a conference, wedding, tourist attraction and events venue.