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Hillsborough Fort

Uncover the origins of the Hill family

Uncover the origins of the Hill family

Stroll through the town to discover Hillsborough Fort, the first home of the successful Hill family who gave their name to the town.

Constructed in the 17th century, the iconic fort is now nestled in picturesque parkland.

Built to protect the road leading from Carrickfergus to Dublin, the fort has been a place of power, play and pleasure for more than 400 years.

In 1837, the Fort was used to celebrate the marriage of Lord Hillsborough, eldest son of the third Marquess, Arthur Hill. Over 4,000 guests attended this astonishing event, which was reported in the Ulster Times as a ‘fête…almost without parallel in the kingdom'.


Closed indoors

Ticketing information

Hillsborough Fort lies outside the grounds of Hillsborough Castle and Gardens.

The Fort remains closed indoors but the surrounding green is open.

A Hillsborough Castle and Gardens admission ticket includes access to 100 acres of beautiful gardens. Re-entry to the grounds is permitted for ticket holders.


Buy Hillsborough Castle and Gardens tickets


  • Things to see
  • Tours and talks

The Castle

Discover elegant State Rooms still used by the royal family inside Hillsborough Castle.

  • Open Wednesday - Sunday
  • Hillsborough Castle
  • Included in combined castle tour and gardens tickets (members go free)
Learn more
  • Things to see

The Gardens

Discover the ornamental lawns, meandering waterways, peaceful woodlands and picturesque glens that surround Hillsborough Castle.

  • In line with gardens opening hours
  • Last entry one hour before closing.
  • Hillsborough Castle
  • Included in all admission tickets (members go free)
Learn more
  • Things to see

Lady Alice's Temple

Take a seat in this 19th-century temple and enjoy stunning views of the surrounding gardens.

  • In line with gardens opening hours
  • Hillsborough Castle
  • Included in all admission tickets (members go free)
Learn more


Art at Hillsborough Castle

Hillsborough Castle has become a place in which to see amazing art

The story of Hillsborough Castle and Gardens

‘The Grandest House in County Down’

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