History and Heritage

Castle Chichester

Photograph of Castle Chichester in Whitehead

The ruins of Castle Chichester can be seen at Chester Avenue and Marine Parade in Whitehead. 

A square tower house, it was built around 1604 by an English soldier called Sir Moses Hill.  By the middle of the 17th century a sizeable village had grown around the castle.

Located on private grounds near the seafront. It can be seen from the Promenade. The interior can only be viewed only by special permission from the owner who lives in the house adjacent to the Castle.

Castle Chichester was built c.1604 for Sir Moyses (sic) Hill an ancestor of the Downshire family, a plantation settler who was later appointed Provost-Marshall by Lord Chichester. The family gave their name to Hillsborough. The building is in the form of a tower house that guarded this region as far as Islandmagee. It has a Manor House adjoining the building that is still lived-in as are stables and other outbuildings. Sections of the boundary walls and a watch-house remain. The inter-mural stairways still remain but nowadays leading nowhere as the building is floorless.

The Brice family later lived in the Manor House from 1669 to 1823. They were associated with a mail boat service from Scotland that berthed just below the Castle until 1740 when the trade was diverted to Donaghadee.