Located at the Southwest corner of Strangford Lough, Killyleagh is a plantation town and port laid out in a gridiron pattern. Its impressive hilltop castle has 13th century origins but these can hardly be detected now as it was rebuilt in 1666 and again in 1850 when the exuberant Disney-style turrets and cones were added. But its soaring turrets, stalwart battlements, bawn wall and picturesque gatehouse provide an excellent photo-opportunity.
Killyleagh Castle is the oldest inhabited castle on the Island of Ireland. The Rowan-Hamilton family have lived there for successive generations.
At the other end of the town is Strangford Lough.
Strangford Lough is a spectacular sea lough, 26 miles long, studded with islands, hidden coves, rocky outcrops and sheltered inlets. With its picturesque villages, rare wildlife and breathtaking views, the lough is an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
Sir Hans Sloane was born in Killyleagh in 1660. He became physician to George II and on his death at the grand old age of 93 bequeathed his fabulous library and collections to the nation. They formed the basis of the British Museum which stands on the site of his London home. Montague House. Killyleagh boasts its own Sloane Square complete with a statue of Sir Hans Sloane.
The Dufferin Coaching Inn, built 1803, is actually older than most of the castle. A listed building nestling amid up-market shops, its main entrance was once part of the Ulster Bank.
Killyleagh is surrounded by one of the best ranges of attractions and activities in Ireland. You could revel in the spectacular scenery of this designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty; challenge your skills on numerous top class golf courses; hike the majestic Mourne Mountains ; enjoy some of the numerous National Trust properties located nearby; Fly Fish with local guide; sample fresh fish, Finnabrogue venison, mouth watering tender steaks, and much more in the local restaurants.
Trace your Ancestry from the Dufferin Coaching Inn.