Carrick Fergus

Today was quite cold up here in Northern Ireland. Cold, and quite windy. With the students bundled up in scarves, gloves and hooded raincoats atop fleece jackets, the weather only added some depth the scenery. We visited a lighthouse and a castle by the sea, so the waves crashing on the cliffs and the sound of the wind blowing made it that much more of reality! I will let the students tell you about these places below!

Hi, I am Albert and today we visited the site that I researched. The whitehead lighthouse was a beacon of light in a stormy sea. Built in the middle of the nineteenth century it has guided many a ship through the Belfast coast including the Titanic. Seeing the lighthouse begins with a twisted path up stairs and through crashing waves. Once arriving at the top of the coastline it is a beautiful view from the south to the far east. On the day we went we were forced to brace ourselves by holding the handrail to keep from being blown off. It was a moment filled with treacherous beauty. An experience I will never forget!

 

 

I’m Morgan Cranford, and I got to do some research on Carrick Fergus Castle was built in 3 different parts, called ‘wards’, so the actual building of the castle took from 1180-1242 to completely finish construction. In the late 1790′s the castle was used as a state and county prison; in the 1800′s it was used as an armory. The castle then became an air raid shelter in WWII. The last inspection conducted by a reigning monarch took place in 1961, by Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Phillip. Rumor has it that the castle is haunted by a young soldier named Lavery. Lavery’s story is told as follows: a young soldier named Robert Rainey, a bit of a rebellious ‘bad boy’, fell in love with a sweet girl named Betsy. She agreed to marry him if he changed his ways. The two were married. A few years later, however, Rainey caught Betsy having an affair, and he shot the man she was with. Before he died he was able to tell his brother who killed him. Only one hitch: Rainey happened to have a look-a-like named Timothy Lavery, and the man had mistaken Rainey for Lavery. As a result, innocent Lavery was arrested and hung while Rainey went free. With his dying words, Lavery swore to haunt the castle forever. Today the castle is cared for by the Environmental and Heritage Service and is on of the best preserved medieval structures in all of Ireland.