Belfast Castle lies on the slopes of Cave Hill, north of the city of Belfast, in County Belfast, in Northern Ireland.
In 1862, the 3rd Marquess of Donegall, an absentee landlord, decided to live in Belfast when he remarried. His Ormeau House in south Belfast had fallen into disrepair and thus he engaged the Belfast firm of Lanyon, Lynn and Lanyon to design this large, Scottish Baronial style mansion, Belfast Castle.
Building of Belfast Castle was completed in 1870. Its cost had far exceeded the original estimate of £11.000. The Donegall fortune had dwindled and the Marquess' son-in-law had to intervene financially.
Later Belfast Castle passed to the Shaftesbury family by marriage. They presented it to the Belfast Corporation in 1934. During WW II the castle saw service as a base for the Royal Navy Admiralty.
At present Belfast Castle can be visited for free. It is used as a venue for weddings and other public functions. There is a Cavehill Visitor Centre in the castle and a small cafe. Although it has no medieval roots I like it very much. The views over the city and the Belfast Lough are splendid.