Carrickfergus is a large town located on the east coast of Northern Ireland. It is currently seen as part of Greater Belfast, as it lies only 18 km away from its city centre. It has a population of 27,998. Carrickfergus became inhabited around 1170 and is as such one of the oldest towns in Ireland as a whole. It is named after Fergus the Great, the legendary king of Dál Riata. The town has mainly become a centre for leisure sailing, but also contains many historical buildings worth a visit. The most prominent being Carrickfergus Castle, a Norman fort built in the late 12th century.