Audley's Castle lies in the grounds of the Castle Ward estate, north west of the village of Strangford, in County Down, in Northern Ireland.
Audley's Castle was probably built in the 15th century but its earlier history is unknown. During the 16th century the castle was owned by and named after John Audley whose family was one of the families introduced into this region by the Anglo-Norman knight De Courcy in 1177.
In 1646 the castle was sold, with the surrounding estate, to the Ward family. During the 18th century the entire area was transformed into a landscape park. The ruin of Audley's Castle was used as an eye-catching focus of the long vista along Castle Ward's artificial lake, Temple Water.
Just a little north west of the castle once stood a small village called Audleystown whose inhabitants were shipped to America by the Wards in the 1850's.
Audley's Castle is a 3-storey tower house with the south-east doorway on the ground floor protected by two flanking towers, and with a stone vault roofing the first floor rather than the ground floor, which would be more usual. With its two flanking towers linked by an arch at roof level it is one of a type found in County Down only. The tower stood in the northern corner of a bawn, now reduced to its foundations, but whose walls would have originally protected a number of small domestic buildings.
This is a nice castle on a beautiful location near the shore of Strangford Lough. The Castle Ward estate offers some great and interesting walks and even another castle; Old Castle Ward. So I highly recommend it even though you have to pay a fee to visit this estate, managed by the National Trust, and can not visit the interior of either castle as far as I know.